Baby on a budget? 9 ‘must-have’ baby items you don’t really need

When you are pregnant, it is easy to get overwhelmed with all the things you think you might need for baby. If you are on a limited budget, or just trying to keep expenses down, it can be hard to figure out what is truly a necessity and what you can do without.

With my first child, I definitely fell prey to what everyone said I needed for a new baby. Have you looked at Babies R Us’s Registry Checklist? That list is crazy long and filled with items you really don’t need!

I’m a mom of three, so this is based on my experiences. For my first child, I certainly purchased plenty of items I never used or didn’t need. For my second, which came eight years later, I had to purchase all the necessities again since I didn’t have anything from the first. I definitely kept my purchases to only the items I really needed.

For my third child, I didn’t need to buy any necessities. I did splurge on a couple of items that made my life easier, but other than diapers, I didn’t buy anything. (Even clothes were hand-me-downs.)

1. Bassinet

While these are great if you want baby in your room close to you, most babies will outgrow these quickly as many have a weight limit of 15 pounds. Save yourself the $100 for something that lasts longer.

Instead, most pack-n-plays now come with a bassinet basket insert. I used the pack-n-play for all three kids until they were ready for their own room and crib.

2. Crib bedding

You see those adorable sets at the store with a blanket, crib bumper, and sheet. All the cribs on display are fully outfitted with a crib bedding set.

Yet, the Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends nothing more than a fitted sheet in their bed. Do you really want to pay for a bedding set you won’t even use?

3. Fancy clothes

Babies grow fast (and in some cases super fast)! Choose practical items like onesies and sleepers instead of the cute outfits and fancy dresses.

4. Shoes

Until your baby is walking, you can skip the shoes. I did buy shoes for my youngest, but only because it was the only way to keep his socks on. And barefoot when it is 10 degrees outside is a no-go!

5. Diaper pail

Once baby starts eating solid foods, those diapers will stink! I’ve never had a diaper pail personally but have heard it does not totally keep the smell at bay. Plus, do you really want a week’s worth of dirty diapers sitting in your house?

Just buy a small trash can instead (I recommend one with a foot pedal for when your hands are full) and take out your trash regularly.

6. Tons of toys

Until baby is about a year old, they really don’t need all those fancy gadgets and light-up toys.

These simple toys were the favorites with my kids before their first birthday:

7. Swings and bouncers

There are so many options for these today and they can get really pricey ($240 for a mamaRoo bouncer)!

Yes, you will probably want a bouncer or swing of some sort so you have a place to set baby down. You don’t need both and baby may not take to one or either. They also take up a lot of valuable floor space.

8. Wipe warmer

If it’s really cold, just warm it up between your hands for a few seconds. Baby will be just fine without warm wipes.

9. Changing table

These take up room in the nursery and how often will you really use it? Are you going to change every diaper in baby’s room? Get a changing mat and change baby wherever.

Baby on a budget

When you have a tight budget, you’ll need to stick to the essentials for baby. Choose practical options instead of the fancy clothes, shoes, crib bedding, and light up toys. While a wipe warmer, diaper pail, and changing table might make your life easier, they take a cut out of your budget. Save money (and room) by skipping the bassinet and the swing (or bouncer). Save money by skipping these nine items for baby.

This article was originally published on Cents + Order.

Kristina is an accountant and single mom to three. She writes about personal finance and saving money at Cents + Order. Follow her on Pinterest or Facebook to learn about budgeting, conquering debt, and cutting expenses.

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