I remember spending hours a day reading forums, blogs, product reviews to decide which baby items I HAD to have only find out all we really needed were diapers, wipes and onesies (oh and SLEEP, but some things you just can’t buy). The first three months were such a hazy blur that many of the things we bought or received as baby shower gifts never made it out of the box or by the time we realized we had them…Kara had already outgrown them! Here is a list of all the things we thought we needed, but should have held off on buying until after Kara was born.
1.Creams and Lotions- Hold off on buying until you know what your baby actually needs. This stuff is easy to buy at the last minute so it’s no use letting this stuff pile up in your house. Kara’s blessed with her daddy’s good skin, but before she was born, we were under the impression that every baby needed diaper cream. So we stocked her nursery with practically a tube of anything everyone recommended. Desitin, Mustela, Honest, Boudreaux’s Butt Paste, we just had to have it just in case. Ultimately, for the first few months we changed her diaper so often that she never needed any of it until much later so the stuff just sat around (some of it still unopened) taking up precious space.
2. Bottles and pacifiers – No matter how adamant I was about breastfeeding, I somehow still felt I needed to stock up on bottles and pacifiers. Which bottles? Which pacifiers? Like all other things in the baby universe of crappola- there are hundreds of options and opinionated reviews on everything. I learned (the hard way) that the first three months of Kara’s life would be a breastfeeding marathon and that anytime she needed to suck on something- it would be me.
3. “Fun” Clothes: Newborn clothes are itty bitty and OH SO CUTE because they’re itty bitty! They’re also insanely impractical because either you’re not going to have the mood or energy to be making many public appearances that first month or you’ve practically quarantined the baby while their immune system kicks in. Kara’s mini-peacoats, jeans, fancy dresses were all passed to us with their price tags intact and that’s exactly how we passed them along. For the first month or so, she lived in onesies that were easy to take off, easy to toss (some blowouts are NOT worth washing), and easy to button half-asleep in the dark.
4. Shoes: Just like the “fun” clothes, shoes are cute, but entirely useless. It’s not like baby’s going to be walking, dancing, or trotting anytime soon. A few soft pairs here and there for pictures is cute, but newborns really shouldn’t even be wearing anything structured.
5. Multiple Sleeping Surfaces: I stress the word multiple here purely from my own experience. Kara slept in our room for the first 6 months, the first few weeks in a rock-n-play until I (painstakingly – more on this in a future post) transitioned her into a crib. We also had a pack and play with an attached bassinet in the living room AND a swing (also in our living room). At one point, I even thought I needed ANOTHER bassinet.I thought it would be easy to keep an eye on her if she could sleep anywhere, but in retrospect, our single story home is less than 1,200 sq ft, so no matter where she slept, she was never that far away. She hated her swing – so that’s the first thing I’d say you should hold off on buying (borrow one from someone first if you can because some babies do like them), slept in her rock-n-play for a total of 1 month (before I read that sleeping in a rock-n-play could increase the chances of torticollis), slept in her pack-n-play sporadically during the day, and at night was in her crib. She also spent a good chunk of napping time wrapped against my chest in a carrier, too. In retrospect, she probably only needed her crib (in our room) for the first few months.
6. Teething Toys: Some babies have a rough time teething, some don’t, so it’s easier to just wait and see what kind of baby you have. Kara didn’t really start teething (as in experiencing pain because of erupting teeth) until about her first birthday. By that time, she was well past the sticking random things (let alone chew on them) in her mouth so all the teething toys we had bought or were gifted to us have just sat in her toybox.
7. Crib Mobile: If you couldn’t tell from #5, sleep is a big deal in our household as Kara is a particularly challenging sleeper. Looking at her crib mobile spin (before she was born) gave me so much joy. When Kara finally was able to see far enough (newborns don’t see very far yet) – she enjoyed it, too, but enjoyed it a little too much. We found out from a sleep coach that instead of soothing her and helping her sleep, it was overstimulating her. So now, the beautiful little crib mobile of zoo animals sits, along with her teething toys, on the bottom of her toybox.
8. Blankets: Judging by the number of fuzzy blankets we got at our baby shower, you wouldn’t think we lived in San Diego (where the temp averages 62 deg F year round!). However, due to the increased risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome), babies under the age of 1 should NOT sleep with loose blankets. Although she sometimes uses a blanket now that she’s old enough, most of the blankets have never left her dresser.