There's no shortage of things you can buy when it comes to having a baby. Amazon's impressive Baby Registry has literally Millions of products at the click of your fingertips. But this may lead you to wonder -
Which baby accessories are essential and which are not?
I could write a whole novel about the baby junk I've regretted buying over the years. (Not that anyone would want to read it)
So I came up with a better idea. I reached out to my favorite bloggers and asked them this question:
What are 3 "must have" baby products you bought, that turned out to be a total waste of money?
75 fantastic parents got back to me and shared exactly what they wish they never spent their hard earned money on.
The 5 Baby Products You (Probably) Do Not Need
- Baby Wipe Warmer (20 Votes)
- Diaper Pail / Diaper Genie (18 Votes)
- Changing Table* (15 Votes)
- Baby Shoes (12 Votes)
- Fancy Baby Clothes/Outfits (10 Votes)
*Can be useful for people with back issues
Updated 2018-08-19 at 20:41 from Amazon.com
Are you considering buying one of these? Then keep reading to find out the reasons why so many parents thought these products were a dud.
What about you? What have you bought for your baby that you later realized wasn't necessary at all? Join the discussion by clicking here to leave a comment.
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Submissions listed in the order they were received:
Changing table, diaper genie, and bassinet (just use a pack n' play that comes with a bassinet feature).
A baby swing chair to hang from the door - was too annoying to set up.
An expensive baby mobile - baby preferred cheap one.
A fancy baby bath seat - never used it just used baby bath till they could sit up well and never left them unattended.
I've tried so many baby products over the years! Here are three that I'd have saved money on if I had it to do all over.
I tried the mesh feeders and they were really good at making an awful mess! Not so good with the feeding of the baby.
Toys! Babies don't need many toys. Get two rattles and a couple of teethers and call it good enough. If baby isn't happy with those two rattles, it's because they aren't interested in play time. (Not because they need more toys.) When they start to move, you can add a few more.
Diaper rash cream never seemed to work very well, except for Boudreaux Butt Paste. It's the pricier stuff, but hey, it's cheaper than trying 4 different brands to find something that works!
Baby stuff you'll actually use:
When I had my son I bought everything everyone said I would "need". The three I totally regret wasting money on were wipe warmers, automatic baby bottle maker, and fancy clothes.
Onesies - we didn't really use them. Sleepers and outfits that were easy to change were our favorites.
Blankets - we so many of them and we only used like our two favorites.
Hand Mittens to keep them from scratching themselves. We never used those.
Waste of Money Baby Products:
1) Diaper Genie. It's not a genie. It smells!
2) Changing table. We could have just used a changing pad on the floor.
3) Car seat strap pads. They annoy the baby and get real dirty, real fast.
1. Toys that snap onto car seats and car mirrors. They are not safe to have in the car if you were in a collision so I never used it.
2. Infant shoes. I had TONS of infant shoes and neither of my kids would wear them until they were learning to stand. I would get them on for a picture and that was it. They had shoes that they never even wore.
3. A nursing cover up. it never did fit right...I just ended up using a blanket.
I haven't had a baby in 9 years however, my first item, that I felt were a complete waste of money, was a wipes warmer. To be honest, unless you live in Alaska or the Artic, your wipes are not going to be cold enough to require one. If you're worried about it, hold it between your palms for a few seconds.
Second would be a changing table. We had one and I believe I used it once. Mom's know you change your baby where you are. On the couch, the bed, the floor (at home only of course). I wouldn't list it as a must have item.
Last, but certainly not least, a bathtub. The babies slide all kinds of ways. Its annoying to them and its a pain for Mom or Dad. I would take a shower then fill the bathtub. I laid them on my legs bent a little but keeping them a little in the water so they didn't get cold. Remember to put a towel on your legs so he/she doesn't slide off. Soapy babies are slippery little suckers 😉
For my first child, the baby bjorn carrier because she never would allow me to carry her in it! Also, any big, complicated stroller "system". It was way too heavy and inconvenient for a suburban mom on the go. Getting that beast in and out of cars was a nightmare. I wouldn't say overall these are a waste, but be very mindful of when and how you'll use a stroller before picking THE ONE everyone raves about.
A fancy monitor. We didn't live in that big a house so I didn't need to see and hear every little peep the baby made when she was asleep. If anything, it gave me more anxiety. 🙂
I wouldn't say it's a must-have but I bought one of those Blooming Bath Baby Bath sink inserts and it was a total waste of money, it was hard to bath the child in the flower, hard to clean the flower, and hard to find a convenient place to dry the flower. Not cute.
Another waste of money for me was a cradle cap brush - just use a soft toothbrush or a damp washcloth.
Also, pretty much any and all baby lotions and oils were a waste - babies have such sensitive skin, you really don't want to put anything harsh on their skin. Just pure organic coconut oil is what worked best for us!
Change Table - Mine was more of a shelf for whatever would fit on it – I just changed both my boys on the floor or bed, where ever there was a blanket close by.
Swaddle Blankets – a receiving blanket does the trick just fine.
Baby Mittens - Socks do the same thing.
You might also like...
1) Baby swing - our little one didn't like it so we gave it away
2) Swaddle blankets - we didn't end up swaddling at all so didn't need "special" blankets for this purpose
3) High chair - we just used a booster seat that strapped onto a chair which was so much easier and cheaper
1) A baby swing: I know some babies LOVE this gentle motion, but my swing sat unused for all three of my children. This product took up so much space and all for nothing.
2) A breast pump: Obviously for working mothers this expensive device is a lifesaver if they want to maintain nursing. As a stay-at-home-mom I found the breast pump to be unneeded. And the entire process of pumping? It was just not a good fit for me, instead I decided to arrange my life so that I could just feed my babies myself.
3) Baby shoes: They look so cute, but just don't bother. First of all, of course babies don't need shoes. But while you might purchase them for the cute factor, they typically will never actually stay on baby feet. I had several pairs that I tried and I soon gave up trying to achieve this cute look. Just skip the shoes.
1. The Diaper Pails (Diaper Genie). They still smell. Eww! Just get some exercise and take it OUT!
2. Teething rings. I had five children and not one of them chewed on a teething ring.
3. A cheap breast pump-waste of money. Get a good one or go without!
1. A mobile that looks pretty in the room but doesn't have lights or music. They may look pretty in the room, but your baby wants all the bells and whistles!
2. Beautiful cloth bibs for a baby...what are you thinking? "I want to do more laundry" said no mom ever! You spend money on these beautiful bibs that end up getting stained and ruined! Save the fancy bibs for later!
3. Infant snowsuit...even if you live in the Arctic, you are not putting your baby in a car seat in a snowsuit. Have you ever tried to get tiny baby legs in a snowsuit?! This is not a baby must have!
1. Baby proofing items. We simply decided to teach our children from the get go not to get in certain cupboards etc. Having a small house probably helped make this easier because we typically knew where our baby was and could easily see what they were doing.
2. Baby gate. We have a stairs, but again, a baby gate just seemed like a hassle, so we either taught them to stay away from the steps or helped them learn how to climb them. I was most concerned about them falling down the stairs, but teh way our house is laid out, it was pretty easy to keep them away from the top of the steps until they were older.
3. Changing table. We had one and found that most of the time, we ended up changing our kids on the floor anyway. So we eventually got rid of it and used a dresser to keep our baby clothes in and the floor worked great for diaper changes!
As a mom of four I have the strong belief that everything but diapers is a waste of money. For us though the biggest must-haves that ended up a waste of money were the crib, changing table, and a cheap breast pump (I think this needs to be top of the line from the start)
It's been a while since my babies were babies. Useless stuff then? Wipe warmers, diaper genie, and too precious bibs.
Best gifts and must haves? Onesies in bulk. Spit up rags - good ones. Socks that stay on feet. At the time, Gap was the best but I like the ones that look like Mary Janes now. Sweaters. Hooded bath towels from lands end.
1) The big bedding set. We spent SO much on a beautiful bedding set for our first child, and it really never got used. Babies can’t have blankets in their cribs, which was the prettiest part of the set. You also can’t use the big fluffy crib bumper once they start moving around in there for safety reasons. The sheets get changed so frequently that most of the time, you’re using something other than what came in that set anyway. For our second child, we got smarter and just bought a crib skirt and breathable bumper in the same color scheme. We saved a bundle!
2) Baby laundry detergent. This stuff is pricey. I just switched the entire family to a free and clear version of what we were already using and now all of my laundry is washed in the same detergent.
3) A bassinet. Babies outgrow them so fast. We slept my kids in our room in their pack and plays for the first few months and then off to their cribs they went. They just can’t use a bassinet long enough to warrant the price tag, and depending on how long you have them sleeping in your room, it saves you the transition from bassinet to pack and play before finally getting them in their crib.
1) Changing table: Changing pad was fantastic and so helpful, but a dedicated changing table really didn't do much.We lived in a 3 three story townhouse so whatever floor we were on, that's where we changed the babies. Having a changing pad was the best option for us.
2) Baby Layette Sets: It is so tempting to get a ton of cute outfits, but really, it's best for your wallet if you save them for special occasions. Most days we just have our babies in onesies and leggings. They looked cute and it was easy to change them. We bought out the fancy outfits for picture day or time with grandparents.
3) Bouncer, Swing, & Stander: There seems to be a huge list of stimulating and soothing gear for your baby. With our first daughter, we had pretty much had them all, but didn't use them all. Each of my girls had a very strong preference and since they can take up space, it's better to be sure upfront before grabbing one for your little one. I would add that try to see if your baby really likes a bouncer or a swing before buying one. Talk to one of your friends or neighbors with littles and test it out.
Editors note: Check out Ella's baby expenses guide
One product that we had tons of but never used was baby lotion. With our first child, I was wrapped in pregnant bliss (between bouts of morning sickness) and imagined sweet moments massaging my little one with warm lotion. Little did I know that my children would all have such sensitive skin that we could never use it. (And yes, I tried MANY brands. So many that I probably still have lotion in the bathroom cabinet that are practically full.)
1. Fancy bedding - they can't have bumper pads anyway plus it's just over kill. It's just for us to look at anyway.
2. Baby shoes! Most of the time the kids were in little 2/3 pc outfits or their sleep n plays and shoes were not needed
3. A changing table! I always just put a changing pad on the floor and changed them. That way I never had to worry about them falling off.
Waste of money baby items: Basically any item that caters to your child in the area of comfort that is beyond normal compensation. Here are my three worst investments:Those plush inserts for shopping carts. Kids should get used to sitting in uncomfortable and germ infested places, we can't keep them from everything. I mean, they go in a McDonald's ball pit don't they?
Diaper wipe warmer- I don't have this for me, why should my baby have one? I would suggest getting your kids used to cold wipes because most likely they will be using the ones you left in the minivan overnight in the winter and have frozen solid. Sorry dad, you can't wipe me because they aren't warmed up isn't the way to go.
Electric bottle warmer - When my son wouldn't breastfeed and we had to hand feed him, we'd keep the breastmilk on ice until it was ready. That meant we had to be ready when he was hungry so we invested in a bottle warmer that was supposed to get the bottle to ideal temp. I felt like everytime we used it, it was like a scene from Goldilocks and the Three Bears. One was too hot, one was too cold, and the one that we ran under hot water faucet always turned out just right.
1. Baby bath - they fit in it for a few months and then straight up into the loft it goes! Much easier to just use the sink anyway
2. Top and Tail bowl - the midwives had me thinking this was a 'must-have' - no idea why it didn't strike me that two normal bowls would do exactly the same job. I blame the sleep deprivation!
3. Baby shoes - oh they're so cute! But in reality, they don't stay on, and I ended up just going with socks until the walking started.
Baby wipe warmer - absolutely ridiculous and pointless, lol.
Changing table - we ended up using our bed or any flat surface with a blanket.
Bath seat - we used a plastic laundry basket that worked just as well.
Pacifiers (our babies refused to ever use them.)
Baby Bassinet (they can be really expensive, take up space, and you can only use them for a few months.
Baby Bibs (again like the pacifiers my kids never kept them on. The minute I would try they would begin yanking them off (even as little babies. In the end we just donated all of ours.
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1. Diaper Genie - or any other dirty diaper holding device that requires refillable bags. Just use grocery bags!! They're free and do the same thing.
2. Changing Table - By kid #2, you're changing them where ever you find the most comfortable. A changing pad is an OK purchase, but a blanket also works just as well, and what Mom doesn't have a load of receiving blankets that are really too small for anything else?
3. Burp Cloths - OK, these are nice. Maybe not a total waste of money, but unless you get a good one, you usually end up covered in spit up anyways. I found an old kitchen towel did a better job, as well as once again - receiving blankets.
Editors note: Check out Adelina's No-fluff baby guide
1. Diaper Genie
2. Fabric bed siderail- it wasn't strong enough to keep a toddler in bed
3. Lighted aquarium that would show stars on wall
1) Crib bumper--why?! You can't even use these things, but everyone buys them!
2) Wipes warmer--we never used it because it was one more thing to keep up with and plus, it would train baby to be fussy with cold wipes when we were out and about.
3) Baby bathrobe--adorable! Never even made it on the baby 😉
The #1 item we regret purchasing was a full size crib. We live in an urban area and with space constraints we should've opted for a mini crib, which is more than sufficient for the first year (soon after kids often transition to a mattress)! Not to mention, as a breastfeeding mom, I'm usually co-sleeping anyway!
1. A changing table - The £100 you’re preparing to spend on this piece of furniture could be better off spent on actual essentials such as nappies or wipes.
2. A nappy bin - Just buy a cheap roll of biodegradable diaper bags to tie off the stink and get a small standard bin that you empty often. It will look just as neat and will be a lot easier on the purse strings.
3. Lovely outfits and shoes - Those mini Vans will probably never make it out of the box, let alone on baby’s feet. They don’t *need* shoes until they start trying to get mobile out and about, so if you’re looking to cut costs, skip the shoes!
Editors note: Read Emily's 7 not-so-essentials for your newborn baby here.
1 - I convinced my husband that we absolutely needed this special baby bed, called the co-side sleeper, and we drove across town to the only store that sold it. It was out of our budget range, but we bought it anyway, and over the next number of months it became a very expensive cat bed.Our baby never slept in the co-side sleeper!
2 - I spent a lot of money on a front Baby Bjorn carrier. It only held my baby up to 40lbs, and I probably ended up using it less than 6 times. A stroller and carseat just worked so much better.
3 - Before my baby was even born, I had the crib all set up with the pretty bedding and decor. My baby slept either in our bed or a bassinet for the first 6 months at least. So while the nursery was really pretty, the crib ended up holding gifts and stuffed animals for the first 6 months!
Most of the expensive baby items we bought turned out to be a waste of money:
1. Baby monitor - Baby never slept in crib so never used
2. Swing - Baby hated being in it
3. Crib - Baby refused to sleep in it
1. Wipe warmer: This is a waste of space. We had one and used it for one package of wipes and never refilled it. Just holding a wipe in your hand will warm it up enough.
2. Diaper pail: Our situation was a bit different than most parents since we had triplets. We used one for a short time, but quickly realized that it was pretty much useless since we were emptying it daily. We just got a full sized trash can and put it in our bathroom.
3. Bottle sanitizer: One word…dishwasher. Or just toss the pieces into a pot of boiling water. I can’t believe that people even consider this product. Save the counter space.
1. Wipe warmer - it was nice for a second but who remembers to refill that thing!
2. Teething rings - she was happier with a frozen washcloth
3. Newborn size shoes - she lived in socks plus they grow so quick she maybe used one pair
1. Breast pump: I had every intention of pumping the odd bottle or two, but when you're tired and feeding on demand the last thing you want to do is spend precious nonfeeding time pumping and sterilising
2. Nappy/diaper bin: a plastic sack in your own garbage is just as good at trapping those smells and who wants another thing to empty?
3. Newborn outfits: they'll wear it once and spit up, little rompers and sleep suits are so much less fuss
I would say that my top 3 items I did not end up using and are a waste of money are:
1. Wipe Warmer
2. Bumbo Chair
3. Baby Bullet
1. Bottle thermometer: I guess some people take the time to actually test the temperature of a baby bottle, but the "use the inside of your wrist" trick worked for me. We received a thermometer as a gift, but never opened it. When you are bleary-eyed, sleep deprived with a crying baby, I doubt I would have been able to read the numbers anyway.
2. Pacifier cover: It seems good in theory--a cover to keep the pacifier clean. In reality, it ends up at the bottom of your purse/diaper bag still covered in crumbs, dirt, etc. I just ended up using a clean burp cloth or a ziploc bag to hold the pacifier when it wasn't being used. No fuss and you can just get a new bag when that's one is dirty. By the time you have more than one kid, you are licking the pacifier clean anyway.
3. Baby food nibbler: Again, it sounds good in theory--put a whole piece of fruit or other food in it for baby to suck on. In my experience, it was a total waste. My kids didn't understand the concept and didn't like the texture. They just ended up using it as a toy. They much preferred just handling food in their own hands and smearing it all over themselves.
Pregnant? We've got your covered:
Fancy newborn baby outfits - they take far too much time to put on and take off when nappies need changing or there's 'a leak'. Baby grows are so much more practical
A travel highchair - most restaurants have them these days so it was only handy when we visited family
Baby toys - spoons, combs and shoes worked just as well in the first few months my babies were interested in exploring the world around them.
Let's see ... 3 must have's that were a waste of money would have been my breast pump, because I couldn't actually use it. I was having trouble producing milk. So I recommend not buying one before the baby is born. Use the one from the hospital for at least a few weeks before deciding to purchase your own because you could never be 100% sure. I've had 3 friends who went through something very similar.
Another one would be an expensive changing table, because I ended up never actually using it since I seemed to change him wherever I thought was convenient. I did use the drawers underneath to put things in it though 🙂
I never used my diaper genie. I thought that was a complete waste. I usually put his diapers in the bathroom trash. The diaper genie felt like it was just a pain to try to squeeze it into a tight hole and most of the time. Like there was an extra step with more effort or something, whereas the trash was something we could just throw and shoot the diaper into.
I found that a lot of things I purchased were unnecessary or the basic model would have been just as suitable. Especially as a first time parent you want the 'best' for your baby. But that does not mean most expensive.
A Bumbo was very popular when my son started to get to the age of sitting. Everyone told me to buy one. My son sat in it once and cried.
I bought a all singing all dancing baby monitor with lullabies, a talk back feature etc. All you need is a basic monitor. The final thing was a built in change table, made of oak. In the end I spent most of the time using a £5 change mat.
My 3 must have baby products that turned out to be a waste of money are:
The Bumbo seat
Tommee Tippee Sangenic nappy disposal bin
Baby Nasal Aspirator
Glider - I didn’t spend the money on this one, but it was a no-brainer because I never liked the way gliders look! I’m sure many have enjoyed it but a simple rocking chair is also nice too.
Diaper Pail - In my own experience, it’s quite messy for disposable diapers and if you can figure out how to use it properly, it will still stink. I found it more convenient to dispose of dirty diapers far away – in the garage – until garbage day.
Infant Outfits - You really don’t need too many clothes in infant size, 0-3 months, as babies will outgrow them quickly. Sleepers and onesies might probably the most worthwhile, rather than complicated outfits.
Sophie Giraffe - Neither of my 2 were remotely interested in it...regardless of how esteemed it is.
Ewan the Dream Sheep - Another one that I had read so many amazing things about. Everyone seemed to love it...not here. Poor Ewan. I guess every baby is different!
A baby bath - We received an all singing all dancing baby bath...Nothing but screaming. Put baby in a baby seats in the big bath...hurrah! Plus it's so much easier to empty that a baby bath and every second counts!
A bottle warmer. It takes the same amount of time to heat it in water. Save the money for the mountains of diapers you are going to need to buy.
Any clothes other than sleepers. I got so many cute dresses and outfits for my daughter and she literally only wore a 1/3 of them. Babies want to be comfortable!
A wipe warmer. I mean really? The child can handle room temperature wipes.
My "baby" is now 8yrs but I remember these products from his baby stage didnt work out for us.
1. Musical baby swing (my son didnt like the motion or music)
2. High tech bottle sterilizer ( I ended up mainly breastfeeding plus we handwashed/boiled/sterilized bottles as needed)
3. A changing table (I live in NYC. We need all the space we can get. Plus the bed and changing mat works just fine)
Here's my 3 baby items you can live without:
1. Diaper genie; why have stinky diapers pile up in your baby's room? It's much easier to put them immediately in a plastic bag and throw them in the garbage can outside.
2. Baby food processor; it clutters up the kitchen counter and a regular small food processor will get the job done.
3. Changing table; I found that I changed my babies everywhere BUT on the changing table. Changing table are costly and take up space. If you prefer to have a changing area, you can buy a changing pad and secure it to low dresser.
Three baby items that were a waste of money for us:
1. Top and tail bowl
2. Cot top changer
3. Cute little baby shoes
We received a bottle warmer at my baby shower and never used it once. Kind of a silly product as warming a bottle in a jar of hot water does the trick for free.
I feel the same way about a wipe warmer but I did not actually buy one or get one as a gift.
The 3 must have baby products I bought that were a complete waste of money:
1. Gro egg to gauge the room temperature. You just know whether the room is warm enough without needing to use it.
2. Baby bouncer. I used to love mine when I was a baby, but that was before there were all of these other super exciting toys for babies. We never used it and fixing it to the door frame just seemed like a faff.
3. Parenting books. Let's face it, no book will ever prepare you for having a child. The best advice you can ever get is from speaking to other parents or your own parents. A lot of the time you just learn as you go.
My 3 "must haves" that I never ended up using:
1. Carrier (eg. Baby Bjorn). - I know that other parent's swear by this, but my son would have nothing to with it. Also, I am not sure if it is because I am quite short but I never felt comfortable carrying my son in that position.
2. Wipe Warmer - except for the time I left the diaper bag in the car in the winter, the wipes were good enough to be used straight out of the box.
3. Baby Mittens - I know that they it is suggested that the babies wear them to prevent themselves from scratching their faces but my little guy would have them pulled off within minutes of putting them on him. After multiple attempts, I gave up. He loved to be swaddled nice and tight, so it wasn't much of an issue anyways.
Some of the baby items I got that turned out to be a waste were:
A full crib set - I've only ever used the sheets! We don't use the comforter or any other pieces that came with the set. While the full sets are adorable, I would suggest stocking up on a few sets of sheets!
Wipe Warmer - I loved the concept of this, but it became more frustrating than anything. When dealing with baby messes, convenience is key and this wasn't the answer for me.
Bottle Sterilizer - this sounds necessary, but hand washing or putting bottles in the dishwasher also sterilizes them. A bottle sterilizer just adds an extra step to an already busy mommy schedule!
1. Diaper Pail - I just threw them away in the outside garbage can daily and never used our diaper pail in the nursery.
2. Baby food processor - just use what you already have... any food processor will work well.
3. Wipe Warmer - They seemed to dry out the wipes quickly, so it wasn't long before I stopped using them... and I didn't notice our baby being bothered by the not-so-warm wipes.
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1. Diaper Pail – We spent hours researching the best diaper pail. What would contain the smell? What offered the cheapest refills? Could I swap out the brand refills for our own bags? Everyone seemed to recommend the Diaper Genie. Total waste of money!! No matter what you do that diaper pail stinks. The smell never goes away. My entire second floor smelled even when I was removing the bag every day. It became too much work and hassle. It was easier to just carry the diaper to the kitchen trash. No fuss. No smell. No cleaning a nasty diaper pail every time I turned around.
2. Wipe Warmer – We used one with our first baby. Then never again. The wipes really aren’t that cold! Just hold them in your hand for a moment if you are really concerned with the temperature. Neither of my other babies ever flinched from a cold baby wipe. Save yourself the electricity and the money.
3. Video Baby Monitor – The most important thing is to hear your baby. Early on you may watch your baby sleep or check the monitor frequently. After a while, we just turned the screen off and waited for a sound.
My three "must have" products that turned out to be a complete waste of money were:
1. Moses basket. My little monkey didn't sleep in his Moses basket one night, or even one hour; yet the minute he went in his cot he slept!
2. Bouncer chair. We bought a beautiful bouncer which he cried every time we put him in it.
3. Nappy bin. All it did was smell the bedroom out, so was easier and nicer to just put dirty nappies in the bin outside.
Here are a few items I think most parents could do without:
1. Those little cones you put on a baby boy’s penis to keep them from peeing all over the place when you change their diaper. (They literally do nothing… unless you’re interested in seeing the cone launch across the room.)
2. A blender to make your own purées. (You won’t have the time or energy.)
3. Foam blocks to prevent babies from rolling over while they sleep. (The blocks just give them something to push off when they roll over.)
3 products that proved to be an absolute waste of money are:
1. Baby Spa Bathtub (a regular, simple baby bath works better)
2. Bassinet (I prefer the Pack 'n Play that has a built-in bassinet. I'm all about multi-purpose products)
3. Changing Table (You can use the top of a dresser as a changing table - again, all about multi-purpose).
I’m a mom and a gramma and I also was a childcare provider for many years. The top three “must have” baby products I bought, that turned out to be a total waste of money are:
1. Baby Carrier (the kind you wear). I don’t think I ever used mine and my daughter only used one with her babies once or twice. They might be useful if you’re going to go hiking or something like that. But wearing baby to clean the house is just too cumbersome and unrealistic.
2. Pull-up Style Training Diapers. They don’t work! Toddlers don’t learn to keep them dry because they’re too much like diapers so you just have to change them every time anyway. The only way I ever successfully potty trained a child was with training pants that felt wet and that encouraged them to use the potty instead.
3. Toddler Baby Foods with meat and bigger chunks of food. By the time your baby is ready to eat that kind of baby food they’re ready to eat table food. Just mash table food or cut it into tiny bite size pieces and baby will find it to be much tastier as well!
On baby #3 now, and I'm still learning what is a "must have" and what I can live without. For me, I could never get into baby-wearing. I TRIED, but it's just not me.
Another thing that turned out to be a waste of time is cute, expensive clothes between the ages of 6 months - 2.5 years. Babies start drooling and eating solid food and just get SUPER dirty. Plus they grow out of everything so fast.
Lastly, I'm not sure if shoes count as "must haves" but they were pretty useless until my kids were consistently walking. My babies would always tear off their shoes and socks as soon as they could. Unless it was really cold out, my babies all went barefoot until they were walking.
This is actually a pretty tough question for me as we havent had many products that were a waste of money, at least in terms of must have products (luckily!). I hear that isnt the case for most though. Anyway, I guess I'd say for us they probably were;
1. Cot mobile/night light
2. Baby crib shoes
3. Cotton wool
1. Activity exersaucer/playspace: I loved the exersaucer with my daughter, but went for the plain vanilla version without toys attached. It made it more fun for her to have different items to play with (or drop!) each time. I returned several of these playthings with literally too many bells and whistles. Even a paper towel tube is fun for babies!
2. Wipe warmer. Seriously, who has time for that? I get that it might be more comfortable, but for the few seconds it is actually touching skin your baby won't like the feeling any more when it's warmed up.
3. Uber-fancy stroller. I thought we needed ALL the perks we could get with the stroller. It even matched our car. But more often than not the higher dollar model sat in the garage -- the tried-and-true collapsible umbrella stroller was my go-to for everything from the park to the pediatrician's office.
1. Bouncer - My daughter hated her bouncer but loved her swing.
2. Bath Seat - Once my daughter was strong enough we tried to transition her to a bath seat instead of her baby bathtub. This never worked for us and we just ended up giving her baths in a normal tub without her seat. She much prefered having the freedom to move around.
3. Baby Mittens - It was impossible to keep these on my daughter. For the next baby, I'll just invest in onesies with attached rollover mittens.
Goodness, there are so many must have baby products that are a total waste! Here are a few that come to mind:
Burp clothes - maybe other moms are more organized than I am but my sleep deprived brain could never be on top of finding a fancy towel for burping. Any old rag will do.
Bulb syringe - I never had a use for this. Perhaps if a baby has a wicked cold but I never was able to even get it to work properly.
Changing Table - I know, seems like a must have! Again, in my sleep deprived state I couldn't be bothered to walk all the way upstairs just to use a fancy changing table. A portable changing table pad was much more useful!
The baby products that are "must have" and that i found to be a waste of money were the bottle warmer, wipes warmer, baby shoes and the dirty diaper disposal. They were all great for like a week, then I found myself not using it at all. I wouldn't spend money on these!
For me it would be a moses basket. My son outgrew it really quickly and before we were ready to put him in his cot. We bought a crib which lasted until we did make the transfer. We used it with my second son from day one. It has also been used by 9 other babies in the family, so we have had our moneys worth!
Three things we had but never really used much for our babies were a pacifier thermometer, shopping cart cover, and a baby carrier.
1. Talcum powder, even now I’m really not sure what the purpose is
2. A pillow, what baby sleeps on a pillow
3. Teething pacifier, what a waste of money!
For my 1st child, I thought I had to have everything! I didn't make the same mistake when I got pregnant with my second.
Here are a few items you might think you HAVE TO have but will end up being a waste of money:
1. Wipes warmer (never even plugged it in)
2. That expensive but cute crib bedding set you love (you only really need a few fitted crib sheets, babies don't need quilts and bumpers are a smother hazard anyways)
3. A fancy tummy time mat (any blanket will do, and then you can reuse them when the kids are bigger)
Having two kids, I've learned that what was great for one baby wasn't totally necessary for the other. But there have been a few things that we really never needed:
Bottle Warmer - letting the bottle sit in warm water for a bit worked just as well.
Fancy burp cloths - I quickly learned that pre-fold diapers made the best burp cloths! I hardly used the cutesy ones after that.
Diaper Pail - A trash can with a lid does just as well. Half the time we end up throwing our disposable diapers in the regular trash can anyway.
I remembering thinking, I must have these 3 baby items to make life easier! Oh how wrong I was! Two items never left the box and the third item was a one time use.
1. Muchkin Fresh Food Grinder
2. Eddie Bauer Car Seat Protector
3. The First Years Quick Serve Bottle Warmer
The three baby related items I found to be a waste of money were cot bumpers, musical cot toys and fabric dribble bibs.
With cot bumpers it was annoying that I couldn't see my baby properly. With musical cot toys I found my baby wasn't too bothered by them and they kept us parents awake.
With dribble bibs, the issue was that we got so and so many as gifts and our baby was just not a dribble type! And unfortunately the fabric dribble baby bibs are not useful at weaning stages as you really need a plastic-backed and large bib.
1. Pacifiers. We bought and we're given a ton of pacifiers, but both of my kids tried it while they were young and then denied it. We didn't need them after all.
2. Bibs. Wouldn't the world be so wonderful if the only place that a baby spilled food, etc was on a bib? Bibs just seemed to create more laundry for me, so we ex'd those out early.
3. Wipe warmer. Super luxury item that just seemed to set us up for failure later. Baby #2 just had to settle for regular old room temperature wipes.
Bumbo - This was something that you can only use for a short time and it was easily stained.
Moby Wrap - Such a pain to wrap around... the extra fabric felt like it got in the way all the time and I always had to look at the instructions to wrap it correctly each time my child grew.
Slings - I always felt like my child was suffocating and or squished and most of them were not stretchy. I totally prefer a boba or tula! AMAZING!
When I had my son, I found most of the baby items that I bought were pretty helpful. Others, not so much. 3 items that I was really excited about getting for my new baby but I never ended up actually using were:
Swaddle Blankets - I bought a ton of super cute ones yet never successfully used any. Good luck getting him to stay still long enough to wrap him up like a little burrito!
Bath Robes - I was so excited about being able to put my squeaky clean baby into his cute little bath robe. However, when bath time was over I realized it was just too much unnecessary work and always went ahead and dressed him in his clothes.
Shoes - Oh, so these are supposed to go on his feet? Yeah, never happened until he started walking! We got him the most adorable pair of Ugg Boots and he never even wore them. Baby socks for the win!
1. Baby shoes - It's difficult to resist when they're so damn cute. But it would be nice if they actually went on a pair of feet. My little girl kicked them off faster than I could get my camera ready to take a picture.
2. A wipe warmer - In theory it sounded like an awesome idea. I mean, who want's to have their bum wiped with an icy wet wipe. Only problem is, I don't live in the North-pole.
3. Too many toys - There can be pressure to get your kids the latest and the greatest toys, although I found they were always happier with something simple. A spoon, a box, a basic doll all do the trick.
To sum things up, let's keep in mind the ancient Chinese proverb:
One woman's trash is another woman's treasure -- unless it's a baby wipe warmer.
Jokes aside, just because someone else didn't need a certain baby accessory useful, that doesn't mean won't too.
But if you're a new parent that's on a tight budget, I think you would be wise to listen to the opinions shared in this article. These moms and dads have been there, done that, and still got the baby t-shirt in a box somewhere.
Over to you
Leave a comment below, what are 3 "must have" baby that you wish you never bought?