11 Things That You Do Not Need For Your Baby (And What To Buy Instead)

If you are due to have a baby, you know that there are a number of essential baby items that you will need to buy. But how do you know which baby items you can live without and which really are essential? I am here to tell you which items are must-haves and which baby items you shouldn’t waste your money on.

Don’t buy a Baby Changing Station

Most new parents think that they need a baby changing station. The truth is that you do not really need one. It is an item of baby furniture that you can only use until your baby starts to show interest in rolling. At the point where day decide that they might be interested in getting about, your baby changing station will suddenly become a hazard that they can fall off.

Buy A Few Changing Mats Instead

Don’t buy the whole changing station, just buy the changing mat. You would probably need a wipe clean baby changing mat on top of the changing station anyway. Save yourself the expense and space that the changing station would take up and instead by a few baby mats.

I would have one in baby’s bedroom for the middle of the night bum changes and a second changing mat in the bathroom, where I have generally done most of my nappy changing anyway.

If you’re feeling flush from all of the money that you saved on the changing station, you could even have a third baby changing mat downstairs for when you need to do a quick nappy change and can’t even be bothered to go upstairs. This will also prove a handy place to change your baby when your health visitor comes to weigh them.

Don’t Buy A Special Changing Mat Cover

A custom-made changing mat cover is a total waste of money. There are so many other things that you can use would do an equally good job and which can then be reused in another way later on.

Buy Some Large Muslins Instead

As I discussed in my article about 15 things you can do with a muslin cloth, muslins make excellent changing mat covers. Not only do they protect your baby from the cold changing mat, they are also super absorbent for those surprise wees that happen during a bum change.

Don’t Buy A Nappy Disposal Syste

Whether you are using disposable nappies or reusable cloth nappies, don’t waste your money on fancy nappy disposal system.

Buy A Nappy Bucket Instead

Whichever type of nappy you choose to use for your baby, a nappy bucket is the ideal place to store the dirty ones. The come with the lid to contain any nasty smells and the Tots Bots version even has a lockable lid for when your baby grows into an inquisitive toddler.

These buckets are cheap and best of all easy to clean.

If you’re using disposables, you can simply store them in the bucket until it is time to throw them out. If you are using cloth nappies, pop a mesh laundry bag into the bucket and store your dirty nappies ready for wash day. For full details about storing washing and drying cloth nappies visit my Storing, Washing And Drying Cloth Nappies post.

Don’t Buy Baby Sized Furniture 

Cute is it may be in the nursery store next to all of the prams, do not be tempted to buy baby sized furniture. Seriously, whatever you do don’t buy it. As much as it may match your cot and look totally adorable, it is totally impractical and your baby will outgrow it so quickly.

Buy Full Sized Furniture Instead

Instead by the largest wardrobes that you can physically fit in your baby’s room. The more storage the better. Fit your wardrobes with multiple rails to hang up the tiny clothes so that they can be organised by size. This way when you are given clothes for your baby they are not ready for yet, they can be hung up and grouped by age ready to be worn. There is nothing worse than finding a lovely outfit that they have grown out of and it has not even yet been on them.

It is not just the baby clothes that you can store in your large wardrobes. I would highly recommend storing your babies bedding in their room. You will be so grateful for having done this when there is sick/ poo / other baby mess incident in the middle of the night and you don’t have to go hunting all over the house clean bedding.

Another totally obvious benefit of buying is wardrobes is that they will last your baby a lifetime and still be suitable for when they are growing up and no longer baby.

Don’t Buy A Moses Basket

Some babies love Moses baskets, others never go in them. Whether your baby falls into the first or second category, I still wouldn’t bother wasting your money on one.

I had a Moses basket that I used for each of my first three babies. Although they slept in a next to me type crib bolted onto the side of the bed when they were sleeping in upstairs, I used to keep it in the living room for when they were sleeping downstairs.

By the time I found out I was pregnant with Zara, my youngest, I had already got rid of the Moses basket. I knew straight away they wouldn’t bother buying one again.

Buy A Carry Cot Instead

A carrycot that attaches to your pram and is suitable for overnight sleeping is a far better alternative to Moses basket. It does the same job in that your baby can be transported around your house to sleep comfortably in any given room, but has the added bonus of being able to be clipped onto your pram to be used out and about. This means that your baby can be put to bed in their carrycot and you have the freedom to be taken out with you in the pram.

Special Swaddle Wraps

There are all manner of special swaddle wraps on the market that claim to make swaddling your baby easy. You do not need to spend your money on them.

Buy Large Muslins Instead

By buying large muslin cloths as swaddle wraps, not only can use them when your baby is tiny, but you can also reuse them for some of the things that I discuss back in my 15 Ways To Use A Muslin post.  

Don’t Buy A Parasol

It is nice to have a parasol for your babies pram, however, they are not essential, as there are more versatile options.

Buy A Pram With An Extendable Hood Instead

Selecting a pram such as an iCandy Orange that has an extendable hood to shade your baby from the sun. This not only saves you the money that you would have spent on a parasol but also prevent you having to carry around yet more stuff in the boot of your car.

Don’t Buy An Expensive Highchair

Do not bother wasting your money on expensive highchair. Most of these fancy expensive highchairs have features such as reclining seats and padded cushions, but quite frankly you don’t need them. Your baby shouldn’t be weaned until they are comfortably sitting anyway by which time they will not need the reclining function. The expensive highchairs often also have lots of nooks and crannies which quite frankly just make them harder to clean

Buy An IKEA Highchair Instead (Or Even 2)

Instead, go for the IKEA antelope highchair. They are under 20 quid and a total bargain. Not only are they ridiculously cheap but they are fantastically easy to clean too. If your highchair is especially dirty you can easily pop off the legs and stick it in the shower tray and hose it down.

In fact, with all the money that you saved by not buying that expensive highchair that you were looking at, you can buy a second IKEA highchair. This can be handy for leaving at a grandparents house or even when you have another baby friend over to visit.

The only downside to these highchairs is that they only come with a lap strap, so does not naturally contain busy toddlers very well. Fear not! Here is a short video explaining how to upgrade the highchair straps using cheap items that you can get delivered from Amazon.

Don’t Buy Baby Plates

You really do not need to buy lots of plastic baby plates. Here’s what you really need.

Buy Some EasyMats Instead

The easy mat is a genius invention that I belatedly discovered when the youngest of my four babies was around seven-months-old. These sticky plates sticks on to the highchair tray (Any highchair really, but if you listened to my last tip, you will have bought the IKEA one) Simply prepare your food on a normal plate that you already have in your kitchen then decant it onto the EasyMat.

If you really must buy some plastic plates for your little one, there is no need to spend more than the check the price check the name ones that they have from IKEA.

Don’t Buy A Nursing Chair

There really is absolutely no need to buy nursing chair. They are expensive, and will eventually be in the way in your child’s room for them to attempt to climb and jam their fingers in. Plus, you can’t sleep properly in them if you need to.

Buy A Single Bed Instead

At some point, your child will need to sleep in a big bed. Rather than buying an expensive nursing chair, buy a single bed that they will eventually grow up to sleep in. Buy this bed and put it in the nursery before they are even born.

Now when your baby arrives and you need to feed them, you have a comfortable place to do it. When your newborn sleeps in the day and you would like to sleep too, you know have somewhere to retreat to with your baby and sleep – their nursery.  

Even when your baby is sleeping happily through the night, there will be those random nights with them when they are ill. Trust me, on these nights you will be so grateful that you have somewhere to rest in their room.

Don’t Buy Special Breastfeeding Clothing

They really is no need to buy specific breastfeeding clothing. Unless there is a piece of maternity wear that you like any way that has breastfeeding option there is no need to buy clothing specifically designed for nursing that you would never wear after you have stopped feeding your baby.

Buy Some Muslins & A Nice Scarf Instead

As I discussed in my post all about breastfeeding clothing tips, you can use the two top trick,, the muslin cloth trick all the scarf trick to make breastfeeding easy with your existing wardrobe. Read the full post for more details

Think Of The Money You Will Save…

By not purchasing those 11 so-called baby essentials and using my alternatives instead, you will save plenty of money. Babies can be expensive, so it makes sense to make the right choices and save the pennies when you can.

Let me know what do you consider to be your baby essentials and what you decided to make do without in the comments.

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