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14 Unnecessary Baby Items You Don’t Need to Buy

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Like most first-time moms, I thought I needed lots of baby items that weren’t really necessary.

It’s so easy to get wrapped up in all the shopping, prepping, and excitement when you’re expecting your first child.

Plus, it doesn’t help that the marketing these days can be extremely convincing.

But the good news is– You really don’t need to buy every baby item out there. In fact, I’ve rounded up 14 baby items you can totally live without.

Unnecessary baby items you don’t need to buy

1. Wipe warmer

The first baby item you can definitely live without is a wipe warmer.

Room temperate baby wipes have never been an issue with either of my boys.

If you’re concerned about the temperature of your baby wipes, try warming them up for a few seconds between your hands or leave them by a window to warm up in the sunlight.

2. Bottle sterilizer/warmer

I quickly realized that you don’t need a special gadget in order to have clean bottles and warm milk.

You can easily sterilize baby bottles and accessories by simply using your microwave, a pot of boiling water, or even your instant pot if you have one.

As far as serving up warm milk for baby, my favorite method is to hold the bottle under hot running water (or submerge in a bowl of hot water).

Once my boys got a little older, they started to not care if their milk was warm or not anyways.

Just remember to never use the microwave to warm baby’s milk! The heat does not distribute evenly, and hot spots can cause scalding.

3. Changing table

Baby furniture isn’t cheap. Luckily, a changing table is another baby item you can skip.

Instead, try placing a changing pad on a sturdy dresser while baby is still a newborn and can’t roll over.

After that, you’ll probably realize that anything can be a changing table! Bed, floor, couch… you get the idea. 🙂

4. Baby shoes

Baby shoes may be adorable, but they’re also completely unnecessary.

They tend to have a hard time staying on and your baby will outgrow them insanely fast.

It’s also just another thing to slow you down when you’re trying to get out the door.

5. Baby powder

I don’t think I ever used baby powder once with either of my boys.

Well, maybe once with #1 to see if there was any difference or real reason to do so. (There wasn’t.)

Instead, keep baby in a dry diaper and make sure you have some of this diaper rash ointment on hand.

6. Bath thermometer

Next, you also do not need to buy a bath thermometer.

Your hand is the perfect tool to gauge the temperature of baby’s bath water. And it won’t add to the clutter in your bathroom drawer.

7. Diaper pail

A diaper pail (like the Diaper Genie) is a special trash can that’s designed to prevent your house from smelling like stinky diapers.

While it may sound useful– It’s totally unnecessary and the refills are another added expense.

The plastic bags you get at the grocery store? Those are great (and free) for sealing up dirty diapers.

And if you want to take it one step further– A simple stainless steel trash can with a lid can help minimize unpleasant odors as well.

8. Pacifier wipes

If your baby ends up loving the pacifier, it makes sense that pacifier wipes would be a useful baby item to pick up, right?

Not necessarily. These can get expensive fast if you’re going through them quickly.

Instead, you can always wash pacifiers with soap and water or pack a few backups if you’re going to be out and about for a while.

Related: Best Pacifier for Breastfed Babies

9. Fancy swing

You really don’t have to spend $200 on a fancy swing with all the extra bells and whistles.

Like everything else– Baby is only going to use it for a short time anyway.

Baby #1 had a basic swing similar to this one and loved it.

For baby #2, we tried a simple rocker like this one, and it was a winner as well!

10. Walker

As a new mom, you may think a walker is necessary for helping your little one learn how to walk faster, but it’s really not.

Not only can baby walkers be dangerous because they give babies more freedom to roam around, but they can also actually delay walking (source).

Babies need to be able to play on the floor so they can learn to pull up and balance themselves.

If you’re looking for a safer alternative to keep baby busy while you’re finishing up the laundry or cooking dinner, try a stationary jumper instead.

11. Lots of newborn sizes

One of the biggest mistakes new moms make (I did it too) is buying wayyyy too many newborn sizes.

This includes newborn clothing, baby shoes, newborn size diapers, and even baby blankets.

Instead, stock up on bigger sizes that you’ll be able to use for a lot longer.

12. Baby food processor

Another unnecessary baby item is a baby food processor.

If you want to make your own baby food, all you need is the blender you already have in your kitchen. You don’t need to buy an extra kitchen gadget for this.

13. Baby detergent marketed for babies

Next, go ahead and also skip that well-known detergent brand.

Yes, it may smell amazing, but it’s not the best choice for your baby (in our opinion).

After finding out my second little guy had eczema-prone skin, I started paying closer attention to labels.

Those detergents that are marketed for babies still contain fragrances (a no-no for sensitive skin). And– Many of the detergents that claim to be “baby-safe” or “natural” actually aren’t and have poor EWG scores.

Instead, choose a detergent that’s free from fragrances and dyes.

Related: The Best Baby-Safe Laundry Detergents

14. Brand name formula

Usually, store brands include the same ingredients (or very similar) as the more expensive brands– even when it comes to formula.

If you choose to formula feed at all, this is good to know as formula definitely isn’t cheap!

Related: 7 Amazing Benefits of Breastfeeding

Were there any baby products you realized, later on, were totally unnecessary or not worth the money?

Please feel free to share them in the comments!


Sunday 3rd of November 2019

The baby tub was helpful those first couple months but we barely used it, same goes for bassinet. Glad we had them, just wasn’t worth paying retail for...Maybe borrow one or buy at garage sale/thrift store. I see these items second hand all the time now.