Baby Gear You Don't Need
My neighbors are about to have their first child, so I’m using the opportunity to unload -- er, donate -- baby gear my children no longer use. I’m glad these items will get more use, and my neighbors are delighted to receive costly products for free. The fact that it’s second-hand doesn’t bother them a bit.
That’s the attitude more first-time parents need to take because it isn’t worth it to spend big bucks on items baby will use only for a couple of years -- or doesn’t really need. Sure, it’s better to buy some items new (car seats, for example). But you’ll save a lot by buying second-hand products, making some items do double duty and bypassing unnecessary baby gear. Just be sure to check for recalls before buying used items.
Don’t buy …
Play mat. Just toss a thick blanket on the floor and let baby look up at you because he craves face time with mom and dad most. Besides, once baby starts sitting, he won’t be interested in this toy geared toward infants who can only lie on their backs.
Exersaucer. These are for babies who can sit but can’t walk yet. My pediatrician told us to keep our daughter out of the Exersaucer because it was forcing her to stand on her tiptoes too much (not good for hamstring development). If you need to confine baby – while you make dinner, for example -- let your portable crib do double duty as a playpen.
Changing table. This somewhat pricey piece of furniture serves one purpose, which will be obsolete in about three years when baby starts using the potty. Set up a changing station on top of a low, sturdy dresser instead.
Diaper-disposal bin -- especially the kind that doesn’t let you use standard trash bags. A trash bin with a lid will work -- at a much lower cost.
A lot of fancy clothes. Baby grows so fast in the first year that she may only wear that fancy dress once. You’re better off sticking to cheap onesies and second-hand clothing.
Diaper bag. A large purse will do the trick, will likely be cheaper and more fashionable, and can be used beyond the baby years.
Don’t go without …
A budget so you don’t go into debt outfitting the nursery.
Life and disability insurance to provide for your family if you no longer can.
Health insurance to make sure baby is covered.
A will to designate a guardian for your child.
See Your Most Important Baby Gear for more information about these four financial items every parent needs. And in the reader comment box below please share your advice on what baby gear new parents shouldn’t buy.