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If you're like most people, when you find out you're pregnant, one of the first things you do is go out and buy a bunch of baby items that you “think” you will need. But before you break the bank on all sorts of expensive gear, take a step back and think about some cheaper alternatives that might work just as well – or even better! Read on for a list of baby items that you may not need – and some tips on how to save money while still taking care of your little one.
Baby Items You Don't Really Need and Cheaper Alternatives
Babies are expensive and when you start making your baby registry it really hits home just how expensive babies are but the truth is they don't have to be as expensive as people make you think they are. A lot of typical items found on baby registries are fun but not necessary. Here are a few items you don't really need and some cheaper alternatives.
Brand new everything – While it can be nice to have brand new items for your baby the truth is you do not need all new items to have a baby. In fact, it can be a smart move to get most of your baby items used seeing your baby will grow out of them faster than you can imagine. Some items are best bought new for your baby like the car seat. The plastic in car seats breaks down over time making them less reliable. If a car seat is in even the smallest car accident it is no longer considered safe and should not be used for your baby. Because you never know what a seller is not disclosing this is the one thing you should consider buying new for the safety of your baby.
Infant car seat – Speaking of car seats not everyone needs an infant car seat. These bucket car seats are heavy and can only be used for a few months before the average baby outgrows them. Go right to a convertible car seat and get yourself a quality baby carrier to place your baby on your chest where they will be safer from people that can not seem to resist touching vulnerable new babies.
Changing table – Most moms never end up using the changing table. This is even more common if your baby's nursery is upstairs where your family doesn't spend so much time. most moms will end up changing the baby on the floor or couch instead. To make your life easier skip the changing table and set up a few babies changing supply baskets around the home including the living room and in your bedroom. In these baskets put a changing pad, diapers, wipes, and diaper cream for quick and easy diaper changes.
If you really do want a changing table look for a used one or one built into your pack and play so you can set it up downstairs where you are more likely to use it on a day-to-day basis for your baby.
Baby bath – A baby bath is a common registry item that you really do not need for your baby. In fact, using that baby bath in the bathtub can leave your back sore. Instead, skip the baby bath and place a plush bath towel at the bottom of the kitchen sink for bathing your baby without hurting your back. You could also use these bath lotus mats, they have become very popular.
Baby bath products – Many baby bath products are tightly toxic with chemicals that you would never dream of using on your baby. Instead, pick a mild soap like Ivory to bathe your baby, or if your baby isn't that messy just use plain old water to bathe your baby. This is much better on babies' skin and helps reduce the number of chemicals your baby is exposed to.
Baby oil – Like with baby bath products step away from the baby oil. Baby oil is simply mineral oil made from chemicals with added fragrance and no actual benefits. If your baby's skin is dry, skip the baby oil and use coconut oil instead for a safer option for your baby. This one may not be more affordable depending on the prices where you live but it is definitely a better choice for your baby.
Related: Preparing for Baby – Financially
Baby laundry detergent – These baby laundry products promote themselves and healthier options for your baby but are filled with nasty chemicals that are not good for your baby and cost more than other laundry products. Skip the baby laundry detergent and go with a free and clear version of your favorite laundry detergent for a cleaner, safer, and more affordable option for washing your baby's laundry.
Crib bedding set – While these bedding sets are cute they are more for looks than actual use. The bumper pads, quilts, and sometimes even pillows in these sets are not safe for babies. They simply become very expensive and useless decorations. Instead, focus on a washable mattress cover and plenty of sheets for your crib mattress to make sure you have plenty on hand for the middle of the night bedding changes.
Baby shoes – As cute as those baby shoes are they are just for looks and baby shoes are even bad for your baby's foot development. Skip the expensive shoes your baby will likely only wear once or twice and invest that money into more baby socks because those disappear faster than you can use them and they are needed to keep your baby's tiny little feet warm when they are not wearing footie pajamas. You can also use the socks as hand covers so they do not scratch their faces.
Related: 11 Baby Freebies Just Pay Shipping!
Congratulations on your new arrival! Becoming a parent is an amazing adventure and we’re here to help you get started. But before you go out and buy all the baby items that “everyone” says you need, take a look at our list of cheaper alternatives. You may be surprised at how many things you can do without. What are your tips for new moms? Let me know in the comments below. And don’t forget to check back soon – we’ll have more great advice for parents just like you.