- Women's Health
3 Baby Items You Don't Need - Read Before Buying!
Having a baby is a most joyful experience, and also an expensive one. One way to cut unnecessary spending is to evaluate whether you really need to purchase all those special items you've been told you have to get.
The baby industry is huge. They have created a very effective sales campaign which involves creating false needs. This is the oldest trick in the book, and it works really well on new parents.
Parenthood can make the most confident person waver in his or her decisions, it can turn the most assured and decisive body into a real wishy-washy waffler. It's natural to suddenly feel quite vulnerable and rather nervous as one realizes he or she is now responsible for a brand new human life.
Marketing groups have sniffed this out and taken full advantage, launching cutesy campaigns that are kind of like a passive-agressive way of saying: "If you don't buy all this stuff for your kid, you're not a very good parent."
Truthfully, you may find that you don't have a need for some of those supposedly essential items. Simplifying. It's a very good thing.
Moses baskets are a great alternative to the basinette - and they are much more mobile!
1. The Bassinet
It is often one of the first things you'll be told you need. "Oh, you have to have a little basinet!"
Not necessarily. First, your baby will likely be sleeping with you or in the crib for the first several months of life. If the baby isn't sleeping in one of those two places, he'll likely be in the carseat. Why purchase a bulky, expensive bassinet you probably won't get much use out of?
On a more serious note, basinets have time and again been linked to infant mortality since parents often mistake them as being as safe as a crib, leaving sleeping babies unattended in them. The truth is, basinets - especially the self-rocking models - carry a significant smothering risk.
Of course, many many babies sleep snug and safe in basinets every day. If you do get one, do a bit of research to ensure that you're getting a quality product with lots of good reviews.
Choose a changing table that will still be useful after the first weeks..
2. The Changing Table
Ah, the changing table. Another item you've doubtless heard much ado about. "Which changing table will you buy? The Cherry or the Oak?" As if you have no choice but to obtain one lest your membership to Club Goodparent be revoked. Unless you are getting a changing table that also doubles as a dresser or other useful item, you may want to pass. Purchasing an additional bulky (not to mention costly) piece of furniture doesn't make a lot of sense in most cases.
A changing table is one of those things that may get a lot of use during the first several weeks of new-babydom, but probably not so much after that.
The fact is that you will probably change your baby elsewhere most of the time anyway. You may think now, in your pre-baby utopian visions, that you'll never change your child on a couch or the (gasp!) floor. I'm willing to bet, however, that you will.
Another important factor in the Great Changing Table Debate: it doesn't take babies very long to figure out how to wiggle and roll. A wiggly, roll-y child does not fare well when placed atop a platform high above the floor.
3. The Walker
You may have heard a bit of the Great Walker Debate. Do walkers help or hinder a fledgling bi-ped?
The truth is that it is better for an infant to learn to develop those leg muscles on his or her own. The walker isn't going to substantially slow down your child's development, but it is yet another potential waste of money. It also has a high risk factor for accidents.
Walkers don't provide any respite for a parent, as they enable baby to cruise around more quickly - in a split second, junior could be out the door, down the stairs, or otherwise out of sight and in to danger.
When an infant is in the crawling stage, let him crawl! Once he is pulling himself up with help, he's well on the road to walking and certainly doesn't need any further aids - especially at the risk of getting injured!
If you do use a walker, just make sure to keep your eyes on baby at all times while using it.
It's Only Stuff
Of course you want the very best of everything for your baby. Don't buy in to the belief that more stuff = more love. You'll find that baby's favorite playthings are often simple household items and not the things you spent so much money on in hopes of stimulating your little prodigy's development.
If you have already registered for some of these items, and don't think you'll end up using them - bask in the glory that is the Returns Department. There are plenty of useful things you can spend that money on - believe me.
Always look up product reviews on any item you plan to use with your baby.
Most of all, savor every moment with your sweet little bundle - it goes by quickly and the stuff will be forgotten all too soon, anyway.