Newborn {non} Essentials

Every once in a while I think about doing a newborn essentials blog post, but then I remember that the last thing the world needs is another newborn essentials blog post. In fact, there are so many of these posts with so many recommendations that I feel like some of these lists have been going a little over the top - probably in an effort to offer the best information - but in reality I feel like we are being told that we "need" many more things that we actually do. Going into parenthood I felt like there were so many things that we had to have or else Carter would likely die and we might as well be living on the streets. We ended up selling/returning a lot of the things I thought we couldn't live without!

And so here it is: my list of things that often appear on "essential" lists, but that you will probably do just fine without:

1. Baby Bathtub - For his first few baths we set Carter on the counter and bathed him sponge bath style. Once he got too mobile/too big we moved to the kitchen sink, and then to the bathtub. To make the bathtub transition easier we had Spencer get in with him so he would definitely have a good grip on Carter. Our apartment has zero extra storage space and so a baby bathtub is just not something we have room for - and we've done great without it!

2. Bottle Sanitizer - Honestly, are there people who spend money on those things?! Save yourself the $$ and the counter space, get a cleaning brush and you're good to go!

3. Wipes Warmer - I can definitely see the appeal to this, but I just don't think it's necessary. If it's in your budget, go for it. If it's not, don't sweat it!

4. Changing Table - We just sold our changing table the other day because of the space it was taking up, and we never used it! Carter moves too much for it to be safe anymore, and the floor works just as well. If you have a dresser in your nursery just get a changing pad and call it good.

5. Brand Name Items - But seriously. Sophie the Giraffe? I promise you do not need to spend more than $20 on a teething toy, even if everyone else has it! The pressure to keep up with the Jones' can be intense, but know your budget and remember that your baby will never know the difference :)

Anything else that you guys have seen on essential lists that you have done fine without?


  1. I think there is a panic every new parent feels, and advertising plays into it beautifully. If I could, I'd do SO many things differently and with FAR fewer thinks taking up space. There are things I found essential to my sanity. Listen to friends, read blogs etc etc...and look/listen for patterns. Obviously, if you own a car you legally must have a car seat. You don't NEED a stroller from day 1, but you might want it anyway. I have a friend who used one of those carriers that straps the baby to your body for the first couple months and she loved it because it meant free hands while doing errands. The problem then is, when the baby outgrows it do you store it or sell it or give it away? This is an ongoing problem until your kids move out and (eventually) take all their crap with them. Another friend of mine went the "3rd world country" route. If they don't have it in a 3rd world country do I actually NEED it? She ended up with very few junk items and made EXCELLENT use of what she did have. Obviously our lives are different and having a place to safely place your child while showering is lovely, hence her use of a swingy chair. The other thing is, each baby is different. Some will HATE bouncy chairs, some will love them. There's no harm in waiting until you know what your kid likes before you acquire something. Your baby will not explode of you aren't fully prepared with ALL the things before he or she is born. Chill. Stop spending so much money. Start a college fund instead, and remember: some of us started life sleeping in a dresser drawer in the closet, and as far as I know, that hasn't has any serious, life-long draw backs.

  2. Gwendolyn hates the changing tables in public bathrooms. It's a pitched battle to keep her safe every single time ( I feel like half the safety restraints are broken, and there are never any of those plastic towels to lay down

  3. Baby towels... why?? We have plenty of regular ones, and I like that they are nice and thick as opposed to the paper thin baby ones we got as shower gifts.

    1. Yes! Sometimes you can find baby towels that actually absorb water, but most of them are ridiculously pathetic.

  4. I love number 5! So important to keep in mind in all aspects of life!

  5. One of those fancy swaddlers!! We tried it and found we could actually swaddle Avery tighter with a blanket. Also why buy a white noise machine?? We have just used a fan or humidifier from day 1.