I will not say that the number one thing that I see on everyone’s list of the must have items can be absolutely eliminated. I will not say it, but I will think it. Bottles and all things bottle related are at or near the top of every list that I have seen, except for the lists made by furniture companies, who usually list a crib, a changing table, a dresser, a lamp, and more furniture at the top of their list. Nature provided two very useful, practical, and attractive containers for the mother’s milk. By not using a plastic bottle, the breast feeding mother also has no need for a bottle warmer, or anything more than a shower to keep them clean.
I understand that not all women can or are willing to beast feed, so I will save that rant from this discussion, and not include bottles and their accessories as an item that you can do without. Although as a “breast is best” advocate, rest assured that I feel that most people could do without them.
I will however include pacifiers, as I do not think breast feeders or bottle feeders will lynch me for it. They sell pacifiers in all shapes and sizes, in a range of colors, and even endorsed and adorned with any character that they can get a license for. All of these are unnecessary, and in addition to saving you a little money, your baby will be better off without them. You will also avoid the tantrums of a ‘lost binky’ and the fight involved in weaning them from the pacifier.
Similar to the pacifier, I also think that your wallet and your baby will benefit if you skip buying a walker when they start to pull themselves up to standing. Without the aid of a walker the child will learn better posture and develop balance and the muscles required for walking the way nature intended them to.
While on the part of the list that includes items which are not only frugal to avoid, but I personally feel that you and your children are better off without, I will add nightlights. The part of me that wants to shave off every cent that I can from the electric bill does not want a light, however small and inexpensive to run, to be purposely left on all night. The part of me that thinks that getting a child used to having a soft comforting light will contribute to a fear of the dark later in life, says get used to the night kid.
The other item that you are told to obtain for its nighttime usage is a monitor. Unless the baby sleeps in the guest house, the ninth room on the right, or on the fourth floor, you will most likely be able to hear him or her when they need you to. As for the new monitors that include a camera so that you can remotely see as well as hear them, it is cute to watch a baby sleep, but you do not need to watch them all night long on your television.
5. Swings and Bouncers
Swings and bouncers occupy your little one so that you can have a break or give you some hands free time to get a few things done. This, as well as their usefulness in assisting you to put the child to sleep, makes them a little harder to add to the list. In the end though, the fact that as convenient as they may be, you do not need them is why I have included them.
6. Baby Tubs
Similar to this would be a bath bouncer or a baby tub. Seeing as how you are not going to leave them in the bathroom unattended, a little water in the sink is all that you need until they are starting to be mobile. Once this occurs you would be hard pressed to keep them on a bath bouncer anyway. It is just not worth the money to get something that you are only going to use for such a short period of time.
7. Activity Centers
Another purchase that you can definitely avoid is the activity centers that are designed to be a type of cover for a shopping cart. You see people at the grocery store or mart setting up these contraptions to keep their baby comfortable and avoid contact with the cart. For all of the time that the child will spend in a cart, I think the purchase of such a device is unnecessary. If your child spends enough time in a shopping cart to need padded cushions and attached toys, you may have other issues to deal with.
I expect most readers to at first disagree, but I think that bibs are mostly a waste of money, too. Sure they keep a bib-sized area on the front of their outfit clean, but when you take it off, you see the clean spot because the rest of their clothes are covered with food. Most children find the bib fascinating, and like to play with it. This more often than not involves them taking the bib off, or lifting it up to expose more of their clothing, thus defeating the use of the bib entirely. After my first two children both managed to get yogurt and blueberries all over their face, hands, and clothes, pretty much covering themselves head to toe, except for their pristine bibs, we decided to not waste our time using a bib at all, for the third.
Not only can you save some money, but also some space on your living room floor if you do not get a playpen. That baby spent nine months trapped in a uterus, now that it is free in the world, why do you want to trap it in a playpen? Babies do not need to look at the world through the screen walls of the playpen.
Speaking of things that your baby does not need to be trapped in, you do not really need a stroller either. Once the child gets too heavy to carry, they should be walking on their own. I hear that is more convenient for the parent to be hands free, but the last I checked you still need to push the stroller. I can’t count how many times I have heard a parent say that their child just does not seem interested, or ready to walk, only to look at the child sitting lazily in an umbrella stroller, waiting for the parent to push them over closer to where they want to be.
I will, however, say that some of the ten things that I have mentioned that you do not need, you may want. Your lifestyle or choice is obviously different from mine and you may give in to a few wants. The opinions expressed in this article are mine, although I am willing to share if you want to.
Join the FREE Newsletter
Subscribe to more PF Advice and helpful tips straight to your inbox.