Any other moms out there overwhelmed by the sheer number of things we can buy for babies? I’m here to present you with the things I’ve personally learned to love … and live without. Obviously, every family, every baby, every mother is different – but if you’re planning a baby shower, expecting a bouncing bundle, or still washing pureed carrots out of your hair, this may help.
definition: Spend money on this. It’s worth it, and there’s really not a duplicate.
1. Bumbo Chair. This is great for pre-high chair babies. You can get them for around $30, they’re easy to clean, light, good for eating and playing.
2. Strollers for All Occasions. I run (sometimes). I needed a jogging stroller. Sweet husband bought me the In-Step jogging stroller for X-mas. (A bargain at $130 – I am OBSESSED. Unfortunately they no longer make them.) In addition to a ‘heavy-duty’ stroller, I would pick up the <$20 Cosco stroller at Walmart. It's great for quick trips, easy to fold/unfold and transport around.
3. Boudreaux’s Butt Paste. It. is. the. best. It’s all-natural, doesn’t smell like what I remember butt cream smelling like, and has a funny name. Get it anywhere.
4. Toys for Carrier. Get the toys that can clip around the handle of your baby carrier. The two I usually have attached pull and shake. They’ve saved Knox from a few melt-downs… in fact, Mommy has a near-meltdown if she pulls out of the driveway and realizes the toys are missing.
Other things I ♥ : attachable headrest mirror so I can see Knox while I drive (about $10 at Walmart), Skip-Hop diaper bags, Pack ‘n Plays, infant/baby tubs, AYR nose drops for infants, hydrocortisone cream (check with your doctor first: for rashes and irritations).
definition: Things to consider skipping under certain circumstances.
5. Baby Monitors. Don’t have a heart attack. Skip this if you have a small house, unless you plan on investing in one with a video screen OR one of the ones that has the motion sensor. We have a great monitor set, but never use it because Knox can’t sneeze in his room without us hearing. We don’t leave him in the house while we’re out on the porch or in the backyard either, so it has collected dust.
If you live in a modestly-sized home or apartment, I would also recommend skipping a bottle warmer. Again, we have an amazing one, but never use it because the nursery is so close to the kitchen, where we prepare the bottles, and we don’t make tons of bottles in advance.
I would also skip an over-the-body infant carrier (think baby Bjorn). I have one that I’ve used quite a few times, but sometimes it was a trouble > reward situation because when Knox was small, it was a little frightening getting him in and out, and then when he was big I felt like my back was definitely not getting a physically-safe work-out. It’s useful for times when your little one just isn’t happy by his or her self and you really need to get some work done, but some good alternatives are a little seat that vibrates (around $20-$30 at Walmart), an infant swing, or simply not doing your chores.
6. Baby Products. Obviously, not all of them, just these: any butt paste that isn’t Boudreaux’s. Shown here is California Baby brand butt cream – I have some Bubble Bath for Cold and Flu in this brand though and it is really nice – I found that the butt cream, while smelling really pretty, was really thin and just didn’t compare with BOUDREAUX’s! (Can I get a commission here?) Don’t buy baby powder (most books I read said to definitely NOT use it anyway).
Other things I never use: pacifiers (Knox loathes them) and baby hangers (I use a dresser), a bassinet or a “changing table” (I put a changing pad on top of Knox’s dresser).
definition: There’s an economical way of getting around these things, and I’ll find it for you.
7. Baby food. Alright, this one might be a Catch-22. I’m still working up on the cost comparison, but my early estimate is that they’re fairly similiar. The winning punch here is that making your own baby food is much more earth-friendly 🙂 I have the Kalorik baby food steamer/maker (thanks Nana and Poppa) and I’ve been using washed baby food containers to freeze and store my home-made organic baby food. A friend told me she’d puree an organic sweet potato, pour it into an ice cube tray, and voila! Dinner for her baby for a week! I love ‘making’ Knox’s food and knowing EXACTLY what goes into it!
8. Boppy Pillow. If you’re more gifted than me with a needle and thread, you can totally hack this. If not, spring the $40 ish and get it. Get the pattern here.
9. Diaper Genie. Instead of paying anywhere between $40 – $100 on a Diaper Genie, plus $20 on the refill bags, I took the advice of another mom who told me her Diaper Genie did nothing to prevent the poop smell from penetrating her nursery. We bought a $15 step-to-open trash can from Walmart and we re-use plastic grocery bags to tie up diapers as we change them before putting them in the can. It’s a great way to use all those bags instead of throwing them away or letting them pile up because “you’ll use them”, and it seals the scent just as well as a Genie (or so my friend said).
I hope this helps… remember, sometimes one woman’s Boppy is another woman’s bottle-warmer. I’ve lived and learned when it comes to baby stuff, and this is what I know about life at seven months with baby. I know that it can all be useful in the right circumstances (read: please don’t be offended if your shower gift landed on the ‘skip it’ list), and I’m grateful that we have all that we do at our testing disposal!