Having a seven month old I feel like I’ve got a pretty good handle on the ins and outs of baby stuff. I was near ripping my hair out when I was pregnant trying to figure out what I did and didn’t need. Being a first time mom, it is completely overwhelming trying to shuffle through the baby aisle deciding for yourself what items are actually useful and necessary versus the ones that are beautifully marketed but not needed or worth the money.
It certainly didn’t help when asking other moms for their opinion about something only to find their opinions were completely polarized, one couldn’t live without while the other was sad she had wasted her money. Like each pregnancy, each baby is a unique individual and as moms we adapt to their individual needs the best we can; and so, no one thing may have the same result with different families but these are the things I could and could no live without.
Things I Could NOT Live Without
- AC and battery adaptable baby swing. I know not for everyone but this thing paid for itself ten times over within the first month alone. While my daughter slept pretty decently at night she was (and still is) a terrible napper. The baby swing was the only thing that would get her to sleep during the day. At four weeks old she went an entire day without napping at all. I gave in and accepted that at that young age, it was more important that she slept rather than where she slept. I specify AC and battery because only running on battery power kills them very quickly so having the AC plug option is key. I like having the battery option though for power outages or being too far from an AC outlet should you bring your swing with you.
- Nursing pillow. I still use this pillow everyday it seconds as a soft prop for baby when they’re learning how to sit on their own. Even if you don’t breastfeed they can be useful for holding your baby while giving a bottle or as a prop for baby as they grow.
- Baby bathtub. There are many styles/types but it doesn’t have to be super fancy of expensive. Ours fit over our double kitchen sink and was great until she started sitting on her own, around five months. I know moms who say they didn’t need this but I liked that it brought baby up to your height while bathing and provided a nice sloped, slip-free surface to bath a wet slippery baby. For $20.00 it was well worth it.
- Baby sling/carrier. I love, love, love my sling. There are many types, my favorite being my ring sling, as pictured above. The thing I like about the ring sling versus other fabric carriers is that it adapts well as the child ages and grows. I also have a sturdier carrier I use for walks/hikes. The sling was invaluable in the early days when she only wanted to sleep, nurse and be close to me. With a ring sling I had a free hand and could get things around the house done. I could nurse in public and no one had any idea. At seven months, it’s still one of my favorite items.
- Exersaucer/jumperoo. Kids love to jump. It gives us somewhere to put her down when we need a few minutes to get stuff done and she loves playing in it.
Things I Could Live Without
- Diaper genie. I like the idea behind this, and it does work well, but I’m far too cheap to pay $10.00 for a glorified garbage bag refill that fills up very quickly.
- Wipe warmer. This was given to us as a gift and is still sitting in the original box…
- Diaper bag. While I use it because it was given to me, in all honestly a large purse would be more than sufficient.
- Change table. It’s an unnecessary piece of furniture. You end up changing your kid anywhere and everywhere. We opted for a change pad that sits on top of her dresser.
Things I Could Have Waited On
- Crib. We were so held up on having a crib before she came home I almost laugh now. I didn’t plan on it, but she stayed in our room for the first six months. We could have waited until after she was born to shop around for a crib/mattress.
- Highchair. We opted for a space-saving chair that just sits on our normal dining chairs rather than a whole other piece of furniture which is great but again, she didn’t sit in it until six months.
Are there any items you could or couldn’t have lived without for your kids?