With my first baby I wasn’t sure what I was going to need, so I overcompensated on everything.
Whenever I left the house with my son, I had a huge New York Jets-themed (poor kid) diaper bag that had a solution to every problem. Kid had a fever? I had a thermometer and Tylenol. His diaper leaked onto his clothes three times in one day? I had three outfits.
With my second baby, I throw a diaper in my purse and I’m out of the house. I haven’t bought even half of the stuff for her as I did the first time around.
That’s because so much baby stuff goes unneeded or unused, often both.
Here are a few examples:
The name conjures something magical, as if you drop soiled diapers into this thing and they disappear, or they somehow cleanse themselves. None of those things happen. In practice, you’re storing your baby’s poop for a week right next to where he or she sleeps.
And by the end of the week, that horrid smell rivals the Brookhaven Town dump. Throw your diapers away in the kitchen garbage. It gets emptied often so it’s never hanging around for a week near your baby.
Newborns use their hands to communicate. A full-bellied, relaxed baby will have open and soft hands. Whereas a hungry baby will have her hands closed tight in a fist. So by covering her hands, you’re missing some of your baby’s hunger cues before the crying starts. I just kept their nails filed down (not always easy, I know).
With my first baby, I was disappointed in the selection of styles for nursing shirts and I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on something I was only going to use for a short while. What I really wanted was for the Kardashians to design a line of maternity and nursing clothes.
That wasn’t happening so I just wear an undershirt under my regular clothes. When it’s time to feed the baby, I pull the undershirt down and pull my t-shirt up and my baby nurses discreetly.
Everything in triplicate
With my first baby I bought three of all the big, important items (so I thought). One was for my house, and one each for the grandparents. Most of this stuff barely got used. Believe it or not, baby can manage for six hours at grandma’s house without his jumper.
I couldn’t bear to sleep without my son until he was 2 anyway, so the extra playpens stayed like-new.
Shoes for infants
Here’s where I get controversial.
While in photos, infants and months-old babies often have shoes on, in reality they don’t need or wear shoes. (Some people don’t realize this.) But baby shoes are adorable, so with each child I had an entire bin full of shoes they never wore but people kept insisted on buying. I never found that perfect time that they fit just right. If you’re torn between another pack of diapers or a pair of sneakers, go with the diapers. Those I guarantee you will use.
Baby bath robe
As gosh-darn cute as it is to see a baby in a bath robe, this purchase serves no functionality. When you take the baby out of the bath, you dry them off with a towel and then get them dressed — as quickly as possible.
The only purpose of a bath robe is to take really cute pictures. So if that’s what you’re looking to do, by all means, get the cutest, most colorful bathrobe they make. But don’t expect to use it.
And please, whatever you do, don’t buy the bathrobe slippers! Those won’t even stay on for the picture.