Do I Really Need That?

Do I Really Need That?

Five baby products you just don’t need

If you’re going gray worrying about how expensive babies are, we have an announcement for you: newborns are cheap.

In fact, newborns are the ultimate bargain.Yes, you’ll have to cover childbirth, and you will need a stock of diapers approximately as large as Mount Everest, but most of the things that newborns need don’t cost any money at all.

If you nurse, their food’s free. Hand-me-down clothing is a cinch to come by. And baby beds are the cheapest kind around.

Of course, five minutes in a baby-goods store will give you a totally different takeaway; you could rack up a bill creeping into quadruple digits without blinking an eye. So we’re here to stop the insanity. Behold—five totally unnecessary pieces of baby gear that you can cross right off your list:

  1. Changing table. A stand-alone changing table has become a standard part of nursery decor, but the truth is, you just don’t need it. You will be changing diapers constantly, and since you’ll be really tired and really busy, you’ll probably do it on the nearest surface available. If you want a designated changing area, buy a contoured changing bed that can be easily attached to any low dresser. It costs a fraction of the price, and when you’re done with the pad, your dresser goes back to being a fully functional piece of furniture again!
  2. Wipes warmer. A room temperature wet wipe won’t hurt your baby, and the sooner the baby gets used to it, the better; otherwise, you will find yourself in a public bathroom with a very dirty baby who’s accustomed to toasty towelettes, with nary a toasty towelette in sight. It will not be pretty—not pretty at all.
  3. Bottle warmer. While we’re on the subject of warming: Yes, bottles do need to be warmed for newborns. But here’s an amazing apparatus that can do that for free—a sink! Fill a large cup with hot water, stick the bottle in it for a minute, and voilà!
  4. Bottle sterilizer. Skip the contraption. You can just boil water, turn the heat off, and drop the nipple, pacifier, or pump piece in for a minute. Or you can use your dishwater. Elementary, my dear Mama.
  5. Crib bumper. In case you haven’t gotten the memo, the American Academy of Pediatrics has a bunch of recommendations for babies’ sleep safety. You should put your baby to sleep on his or her back, and you should avoid placing anything in the crib, including bumper pads, which have a potential risk of suffocation, strangulation, or entrapment. Could there be a better reason not to buy something?

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Nicole C. Kear, is the author of Now I See You: A Memoir, recently published by St. Martin’s Press. Kear, who lives in New York City, is also an editor, speaker, and mother of three.

Please feel free to contact us with any comments or questions.

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