Our shopaholic selves tend to buy everything our eyes are attracted to and our minds think we need. And if we have a fat pocket, our sense of shopping goes with the wind, too. Over the years, I’ve seen many things come to and go from my house. Sadly, on analyzing a few items, I realized how much money we could have saved instead. But luckily, we comfortably managed without a number of baby items that people actually buy, so I guess we did do a little bit of saving as well.
When we became new parents, we bought, were gifted and were given so many baby things that our house looked like a play den. We kept everything thinking they would be used sooner or later but some were left to gather dust and a few were eventually donated to the orphanages nearby. Now, after being a parent for a little more than 7 years, I decided to let you, new parents, know about the baby items you will barely use and those that you could probably live without, just like we did.
The baby items we had but barely used:
BATHING CHAIR: We were gifted a bathing chair and I was quite excited to use it. But when I did, I found it more comfortable to bathe my little one on my legs. It was easier and I didn’t have to strain in order to turn her over to wash her back.
PLAY-GYM: We probably did not need this because the crib already had a toy hanger and because of dog-hair, we avoided placing the play-gym on the floor. We used it a couple of times, on the bed, but my little one kept kicking the whole thing down and we had to keep re-fixing it. We lived without it after giving it away.
MANUAL PUSH RIDE: These push rides are quite dangerous because they can topple over, if the baby goes and sits by herself wrongly. My daughter happily rode it a few times before her foot got stuck under it as there wasn’t any foot-rest for when the baby is being pushed. Also, it was quite low for us to keep pushing all the time so we eventually sold it on OLX.
CLOTH BIBS: We bought many cloth bibs because we believed that bibs were for babies. But then, firstly, we found that our kids would not sit still with a bib around their necks. Secondly, they spilt stuff everywhere but on the bibs. Thirdly, it was getting too much to keep washing the baby bibs (because of one drop on it). Smarter switch was when we got a huge plastic bib which served the purpose when used occasionally. It was also easy to wash, wipe and re-use immediately, if needed.
STAND-ALONE POTTY: I never tried potty training at 18 or 30 months. I gradually let my kids know (after 40 months) that there was a little potty for them to use. My daughter used it 5 times and then wanted me to help her use our commode, like we did. The stand-alone potty just stood alone in a corner for a long time until I decided to give it away. My son started with our commode directly.
Kids are funny. While some of you may have kids that love the potty, many would just behave like it didn’t exist. So as the items listed above and below may not be applicable to some of you, most of you will surely know what I mean. New parents, especially, can actually take pointers and benefit from the same. This is totally a money and space saving article.
Here are the baby items we comfortably lived without:
PACIFIER: I listen to my heart more than any human on Earth, including my darling mother. But with regards to buying a pacifier, we both were on the same page. I felt that a pacifier would keep my baby from general babbles. Yes, you have to manage with the incessant crying until it stops, but I believe your baby will be freer with its speech, without than with a pacifier stuck in its mouth.
ROCKER (CHAIR/BED): A rocking bed came free along with the crib we got for our daughter but we never used it. We did not even buy a rocking chair to put her to sleep or make her feel comfortable. I just rocked her in my arms or put her on my shoulders and sang her to sleep. I did the same with my son too. They loved the warmth.
BOTTLE WARMER: Someone gifted me this item and I couldn’t see the need to open and use it. I just warmed my baby’s bottles by placing them in hot water.
STERILIZER: I know a few moms who swear by this item but my mom managed well with sterilizing the bottles and teats in boiling water. After she went back home, I managed with just washing the bottles with normal dish washing liquid.
SLEEPING BAG: I found it too bulky when I saw it being used. The sleeping bag requires two people to operate it, one to open the bag and one to hold the baby carefully while the bag is safely kept somewhere. Our baby was happily wrapped in normal muslin cloth, close to my body. Plus, I like to be independent.
CHANGING TABLE: I really have no clue why people invest in such an item. For 7 years, I’ve managed to change my babies on my bed, or on the kids’ bed, so buying a special table just for the changing session did not even cross our minds. Buying a simple baby mat would be a better bet due to the low cost and also because you can save a lot of space.
BABY DETERGENT: During the first month, the massage lady would wash the baby’s stuff by hand, with our detergent, and when she left, we put the baby clothes in the machine because I didn’t know how to hand wash clothes and I couldn’t expect the husband to do that after work. Later, when I received a couple of baby detergents for review, I found that they did make the baby’s clothes soft but economically, we still found it better to wash the baby’s clothes just how we did ours. All is well till date.
BRANDED CLOTHING & SHOES: A couple of branded party wear makes sense, but buying expensive branded outfits for everyday use seems a little too much, even if you are swimming in cash, for two reasons: Your children are bound to get spoilt as they will expect to wear or use only branded stuff in the future, whether you can afford it or not and secondly, they outgrow it too fast. I don’t know about you but I find buying expensive branded clothing and shoes, for kids, a complete waste of money.
WET WIPES WARMER: I do not know how many of you use this but I did not even know that a wet wipes warmer existed till a few days ago. If you think your baby is getting a chill during diaper change, hold the wet wipe between your palms, for a few seconds, before use. It will get down to body temperature which, personally I feel, is quite enough.
BABY CARE TIMER: We did not see the need for a timer, mobile app or pen and paper to keep track of our babies’ sleeping, feeding and changing schedules. My little ones slept when they felt like, ate when they were hungry and pooped whenever their tummies let go. I slept when the babies slept, I fed them when they let me know they were hungry and I changed them whenever I got a stinky whiff. It worked well for me because I’m far from a routine person. But even if you love having things done on time, alarm settings in your mobile (that everyone owns now-a days) can surely serve your purpose perfectly.
Having a baby does not have to be expensive. There are many more things that people manufacture to ease our troubles, which is sweet, but can be done without, with a little effort from our side. If you have planned to have a baby, the least you can do is allot some time for it.
Some people also avoid investing in diapers and wet wipes, which could be included in the above lists as well, but I didn’t have the patience to change and wash napkins 20 times a day. Plus, I needed my beauty sleep. So, till date we use diapers and enjoy nap-time instead. It all depends on your priorities and how you can manage them.
Remember, you will miss the baby phase when they grow up, so enjoy these little moments and their warmth and their baby smells to the fullest until they last.
Have you used any of the above items? Tell us how it helped you and made your life easier. Or how you got stuck with them?
Cindy D'Silva, besides being a mother of two angels, is a belly dancer, writer and photographer. She loves partying, bowling and eating sushi. There is a detailed biography about her on the ABOUT ME page in case you would like to know more. :)
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