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Being a first-time mum, I got sucked into a lot of mum’s groups, other relatives and friends and all the advice the internet had to offer on being prepared for the baby’s arrival.
I was that neurotic, super organised pregnant lady who had the nursery completed by 28 weeks and my hospital bag packed, armed with my birth plan on a neat piece of paper, at 30 weeks.
You need to sift through all the information you are given and find the common items and suggestions needed, and even then, you won’t actually know what works for you until your baby arrives.
Here are some of the items I wish I hadn’t wasted my money on:
#1 Pre-walker Baby Shoes
When my husband and I found out we are having a little girl, I kind of went crazy looking for adorable outfits for her. And this most definitely included itty-bitty shoes.
But… have you ever tried to get shoes on a baby? I have, and let me tell you, until your child is walking, attempting to put shoes on an infant will be the biggest waste of your valuable naptime.
Unless you’re from an icy cold climate where the warmest socks are still not enough for warmth, shoes for babies before they are walking are a waste of time and money.
I come from Perth, Australia where our summers are 30- 35 degrees average and winter averages about 20 degrees.
Fleecy socks were very suitable on cooler days, but we had absolutely no need for shoes (except for cute baby fashion) until my daughter started walking and was more cooperative when we put shoes on.
#2 Baby food processor
A food processor designed purely for baby food? This would have to be one of the biggest wastes of money for a baby. You can achieve the same result just using your regular blender or food processor.
Steam the vegetables using hot water and a regular pot on the stove, then add it to the blender and blend it all up. VOILA- you have baby puree.
There is no need for a fancy, baby-specific appliance that just takes up more room on your kitchen bench, clutters the kitchen and you’ll only use it for 6 months or so before your child is eating more solid food.
Keep it simple. You don’t need extra gadgets to clean, dry and reassemble when you have a baby. Half the time, you’d probably be making the same vegetable for the rest of the family. Nobody wants more dishes than necessary.
We have a Breville BBL605XL Hemisphere Control Blender which has preset functions depending on what consistency you want your food to and it is perfect for baby purees if you don’t do baby led weaning. One jug to clean and you’re done.
#3 Branded Breastmilk Storage Bags
I was horrified to find that branded breastmilk storage bags go for around $25 in some pharmacies for a 20 pack of Medela breast milk storage bags.
As anyone who knows me knows, I’m as frugal as you can get. So I just bought regular ziplock bags from the supermarket for $2 and get more than 50 bags.
They’re reusable if you sterilize them after each use as branded breast milk storage bags and a fraction of the price
Sure, the supermarket ziplock bags don’t have a measurement on them, but you can just check the bottle you expressed into before transferring the milk to the bag and then write the amount in marker on the bag. $2 for more than double the amount of bags. To me, it’s a no-brainer.
I had a lot of parents swear the miracles of a Bumbo. So I made sure I got the one my aunt use for my cousin when they were finished with it.
I didn’t see the magic.
I had a rocker for my daughter that she preferred because she would have toys to look at. The bumbo frustrated her because she just sat there.
My daughter also had hip dysplasia and was in a Pavlik and rhino harness so she couldn’t even use the Bumbo half the time.
The only this I will say about the Bumbo, is that I can see the merits of it as a portable highchair for children when travelling. It doesn’t take up as much room as a highchair would so would be perfect for frequently travelling families that feed on the go.
#5 Wipes warmer
I may have been silly enough to buy gadgets such as the baby food processes (albeit secondhand), but I never actually went as far as purchasing a Wipes Warmer.
To me, this is consumerism gone mad, preying on parents and their need to mollycoddle their children.
I never had one of these. I saw a relative use one and was baffled.
You can get the same result by holding the wet wipe between your palms for 20seconds and allowing your body temperature to warm the wipe.
Or, unless you’re in the Antarctic, your kid could just deal with the momentary cold wet wipe on their bum before you put a fresh nappy on them.
So there are the items that I think are a waste of time and money. But… I also have a list of baby items that are essential to my parenting routine.
What baby items did you find utterly unhelpful? Post them in the comments below.