Your little one is coming, time to shop for baby gear! But What are the baby items to skip and simplify and what should they invest in instead? Check out our list below.
What can you read in this article?
- Why spending too much on baby stuff isn't a good idea
- Baby items to skip or buy for less
For every period that I gave birth to one of my children, there's always a trendy baby item that parents swore was a "must-have." For my eldest, it was a stroller that can switch from front-facing to rear-facing.
For my second daughter, it was all about hospital-grade breast pumps that you can bring to work. And for my youngest, new parents were all for UV sterilizers.
Out of those three trendy items, the only thing we ended up buying was the stroller. And we learned our lesson the wrong way. As it turns out, bringing a bulky stroller to shopping malls with no elevators and outdoor places was quite challenging, and we ended up just going for a lightweight stroller and storing the bulky one at home.
After that big purchase, my husband and I decided to be more discerning when it comes to buying baby stuff.
Expecting parents, new parents, friends of new parents, even parents of new parents all feel the need to spend excessively on babies.
While it's always nice to see your child draped in cute clothes and being pampered with luxurious accessories, it's important to ask ourselves if this is really necessary.
What's wrong with being frugal? New and expecting parents, I assure you: there's nothing wrong with it at all!
Why you shouldn't spend so much on unnecessary baby items
If you belong to the 10 percent of the world's population and you can afford to buy all new and all branded things for your baby, then go ahead and do it.
But if like us, you're a parent on a limited budget, then it wouldn't hurt to think twice (or more) before checking out items for your baby.
You've probably heard people say "They grow up so fast" referring to their kids, and let me tell you, it's true! Children grow up rapidly during their first year of life.
This is why there are different sizes of clothes for newborns, babies that are 0 to 3 months, 3 to 6 months, 6 to 9 months, 9 to 12 months, you get the gist. Will you be okay if your child outgrows the expensive dress you bought him just in a matter of weeks?
Another reason to do a double-take before spending on baby stuff is that there are plenty of pre-loved items that go around. You probably have a friend or a relative who just gave birth to her baby a few months ago, and she might not have any use for the clothes that her baby has outgrown. So why not borrow it or buy it from her at a discounted price?
Finally, people adore babies and love showering them with stuff. So hold off on buying a lot of onesies or plush blankets for now, as you will probably receive lots of them on your baby shower.
Baby items to skip or simplify
In any new parents' gift registry for their baby, there are items that are considered "nice to have." And they are, indeed, nice to have. But is it really necessary to spend a ton of money on them? Here are some baby items to skip or most useless baby items you excessively buy.
It's recommended that your baby only use a bottle for about 12-18 months. After that—nothing. It's on to sippy cups. So why would you need to spend exaggerated amounts on something you'll only use for a year or so? Stick to the basics and buy a less expensive bottle.
2. Baby Toys
While it's a known fact that playing is a great way for babies to learn, they can actually do without too many toys. Babies don't usually even have the attention span to play with a toy for more than a minute, so there's really no need to cough up the big bucks. Besides, haven't you heard? Babies usually go for the usual household items like baby wipes or the remote control anyway.
It's perfectly fine to buy toys for your baby, just don't go overboard!
3. Baby Clothes
If only your baby could wear their clothes as long as I've had my trusty sweatpants...what a shame. Unfortunately, babies sprout up quickly and as a result, they need a new wardrobe every step of their development.
It's nice to dress our babies in cute clothing, but is there any shame in using hand-me-downs or lesser brand clothing? Not at all! You'll have to discard their baby clothes soon anyway.
So while you've always imagined your little boy donning the tiniest branded rubber shoes ever made, think if you'll be okay with it if he outgrows it in a month or two. I get a lot of cute clothes for my kids when they were babies, only to end up me selling them or giving them away when my baby hasn't even used them.
Instead of buying your baby multiple onesies and t-shirts, save that hard-earned money and invest in something else like starting an education fund for your little one.
4. Baby Accessories
Just like their clothes and bottles, baby accessories will be phased out in the blink of an eye. Things like pacifiers, bibs, and baby bouncers are only used for a brief period of a baby's development. Be thrifty and buy cheaper products. You'll get more bang for your buck!
There are different kinds of cribs to choose from - from the sturdy wooden ones to the pack and play foldable kind. Which one suits your lifestyle more?
Unless you plan on making it an heirloom piece in the future and want your grandchildren to use it in the future (which means you have to maintain it very well), make an economical decision and purchase a safe, but inexpensive crib. Your baby still needs suitable sleeping chambers, but you can find reliable cribs at a lesser value.
6. Changing Station
This usually makes it to most lists of baby items to skip because it's fair to assume that you won't be needing a changing station for very long.
It's definitely a wise decision to have a changing station but understand how little you'll use it after a certain age. An old dresser that's high enough serves the same purpose. And there are also some cribs that come with a detachable changing table.
7. Diaper bag
Unless you don't plan on going out with your baby for the next couple of years, a diaper bag is unnecessary. But if you do, then a diaper bag is a must-have.
That said, you don't really need to splurge on a branded diaper bag for your baby. Diaper brands these days can cost up to P5,000. But you can just get something cheaper but also has great quality.
As long as it's sturdy enough and has enough room and compartments to put all of your baby's needs for a day out, then you're good. Or you can even repurpose an old backpack or a large tote bag and just buy those cheap bag organizers and turn it into a diaper bag.
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What should you invest in?
Now that we're done with the list of baby items to skip or simplify, here are some "big-ticket items" that are worth spending your hard-earned money on:
- Stroller - pick the lightweight and compact one, but is sturdy enough to last a few years.
- Car seat - you can't put a price tag on safety! So better to buy one that's durable and has all the required safety certifications.
- Breast pump - if you plan on giving expressed milk to your baby (for instance, when you're going back to work), then find something that's compact and easy to use
- Baby monitor - if you work outside the home and leave your baby to a helper or relative, it's a good idea to purchase a reliable brand of baby monitor that lets you watch over your baby even though you're not home because some brands now let you access it through an app on your phone.
- Baby carrier - If you plan to take your baby out and about, consider buying a baby carrier so you can keep him snug and close to you while still being able to use your hands freely.
While it's definitely your call if you want to buy all new items for your baby, just remember that you're not only spending for what he needs during his first year. So if you're going to purchase a big-ticket item, just make sure it's worth it and you can use it for a long time. If not, you can always find a cheaper option (but still of great quality) and save your money for future use.