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What "necessary" baby items can you without?

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

Just curious... When DS was born, I was told I needed lots of supplies, so I got everything. Now with my second baby, I find that it is actually simpler to get by with less equipment. For me, I found that I didn't need the crib, the stroller, a full size high chair, a Sangenic nappy bucket. I am sure there is more. What items can you do without?

post #2 of 22

I am on number 3 (he's nearly 4 mos old) and I have literally needed almost nothing this time!! It might be more appropriate or easier to ask what do you need?


A lot of the other stuff comes down to personal preference and sometimes you have to try different things to see what you and your baby like. One thing I know is that there is too much baby crap in the world so when I do need something I buy it on craigslist or in thrift stores, and either donate it or sell it when we are finished.

post #3 of 22
Originally Posted by Gracecody View PostIt might be more appropriate or easier to ask what do you need?




All I really need for my twins is the Ergo carrier, our double stroller and tons of cloth diapers / woolies...other then that maybe the occasional toy to keep them interested while I shower or eat :)

I can skip the crib, play gyms, excessive toys, excessive clothes, bobby, bumbo, play pen, baby monitor...I could just keep on going!

post #4 of 22

Blankets. Everyone told me how many I would need and I ended up with around 30... I have one in the car, one on the floor in the living room, and one in the diaper bag actively being used and that is it. The others are sitting in a box.





post #5 of 22
  • I agree with the blankets. We rotate 4 of them...rest are in the closet. 
  • stroller until much later on and then all we needed was a simple umbrella stroller for the occasional situation. We used a baby wrap/carrier for everything else. 
  • a ton of clothes. This time, we've stuck to a few gowns and fleece or cotton sleepers
  • baby bathtub
  • bumbo
  • play gym (but DH just bought one anyway to see if he might like it!)
  • full size high chair--what a PITA and it scratched our hardwood floors last time
  • crib---only used about 6 months around 18 months old and only here and there. 




Things we need that I didn't think we would: 

white noise machine

baby monitor with video (so I don't check to make sure baby is breathing every 5 minutes---we've yet to use it for baby because he's always being worn or carried but we will eventually)



post #6 of 22

Everyone is different!


While I could have done without the crib (the baby has yet to sleep in there for a night, but is currently napping on the crib mattress which is on the floor in our room and she sleeps with us at night), the baby bathtub was essential for us.  We have a REALLY deep tub, so bathing her when she couldn't sit up on her own killed our backs.  The kitchen sink was too slippery and the bathroom sink isn't big enough.  The baby LOVES to bathe, so I loved the bathtub.  Bonus, we even used it as a "pool" for her in the backyard in the summer.


I could have done without blankets and burp clothes.  Bottles and baby monitor.  Those swaddle things.  A lot of the newborn and 6 month clothing.  A bedroom for the baby (but, it's been nice to play and nurse in there).


Our carrier and stroller have been essentials.  So have our cloth diapers.  Breast pump.

post #7 of 22

I definitely limited what I acquired before D was born, and now at almost 5 months old, I feel like I have a better idea of what he actually needs. I also have rotated through things: as soon as I'm done with something, I give it away or sell it.


Absolutely needed the ergo baby carrier, and having a stroller has been nice, but not essential. Cloth diapers, burp clothes, some used clothing, boppy and an arm reach co-sleeper have been very useful. We also had a baby swing that I have been trying to sell, and it was invaluable for the first 3 months or so.


Things I didn't get and am glad I did not are: baby monitor, bath tub, crib, play yard. I'm still thinking about if I need a high chair and some other gear, but I feel pretty good about what I have and don't have right now.

post #8 of 22

We had -tons- of hand me downs from friends and family, so acquired quite a lot that we wouldn't have paid for otherwise... that said... 


I wouldn't have bothered with a baby bathtub. We use it once every week and a half or so, but otherwise we just shower her with us-- and it's a pain to store. I wouldn't miss it if we didn't have it. 


DD has reflux, so we use tons of receiving blankets, but for heavy blankets, probably 4-5 would be fine/plenty. 


baby hooded towel. We asked people not to buy us these, that we just wanted a soft bath towel for her. Someone bought one anyways, and we leave it in her closet, and went out ourselves and bought the soft towel. 


bouncer chair- but not for the same reason most people don't want them. We ended up having to buy a swing instead for the movement, and the bouncer became redundant. I would go straight to the swing next time (travel size, and foldable, so it doesn't take up much more room than the bouncer did)


A bucket seat. We were loaned one, and it's nice, but really wouldn't suffer without it. 


Clothing wise-- since she spits up so much, we go through more than the average would at this point, but even so, we would be good with 8-10 sleepers max, and a few onesies (she overheats at night, so wears these instead of a sleeper). Maybe 2-3 cute outfits. 


I crochet, and make horrible sweaters/pants, so I made tons of hats and booties for DD. She hates them, and I think we only wore two hats and one pair of booties. We could make do with 2, maybe three pairs of socks, one cotton hat, and one winter hat. 

post #9 of 22

I feel like I have way too much of some things, and not enough of other things.  For example, I have way too much clothing, but only in some styles and fabrics.  Like I would love to have some more woolens (wool onesies, footed pants, etc.) instead of cotton baby clothes.  The wool doesn't need to be washed as often, and even though my little guy is a massive spitter-upper, I find that the wool dries quickly and doesn't get stinky.  Sooo...I hardly ever wash them.  whistling.gif


The other thing I need tons of are bibs since he is such a spitter upper.  I never would have guessed this before he was born.


Definitely have too many blankets, but not enough burp cloths.  Way too many hats since only one hat (that my mom made) even stays on his head.  Same with booties (only one specific pair stays on).


Didn't need the baby bathtub...haven't even bathed him yet (just wipe downs until the weather warms).  I know it sounds like we have hygiene problems here, but really we don't!


I second the video monitor.  I am not one at all for electronic gadgets, but ours is a must-have!

post #10 of 22
I didnt need the playpen, crib, full sized high chair, baby play gym, blankets, baby monitor (our house is just too small to need it).

Cant live without:
Sleep sheep
cloth diaper sprayer
co sleeper
johnny jump up
mini high chair
moby wrap and bumbo carriers
post #11 of 22

Everyone said to get a crib, stroller, bottles, playpen. We didn't need those. Also didn't need any of the newborn clothes, the 3-month ones were fine (although we did have too many of those!)

post #12 of 22

The video monitor is for our toddler - the baby is with us - but I am so glad to have it for my 2 year old. I can tell if he's awake and check on him without potentially waking him up by going in his room.


We could have totally done without a crib. However, my dad built one, so we have it. (and it's lovely!) We do need somewhere for baby to sleep other than our bed, for those occasions we want the bed to ourselves. I think we could have easily done with the co-sleeper and transitioned to a twin bed if we 1)didn't have a crib already and 2)had the space for one.


Blankets: fuzzy (think like minky or really soft fleece) are DS's loveys, so we have a bunch of those. I use flannels as burp cloths when needed, and the Aden and Anais muslins for covers when I want to be covered.


re: clothes - that depends on the baby. both of my babies, but especially DS neeeded to be in NB for a little while;0-3 swim for a little while on them. I could get away with less, but I love dressing DD.


I could live without a stroller. but it is a handy place to put bags while I wear the little one.


Wipes warmer - I think that's a completely unnecessary gadget.


Baby swing. If you don't have one, you won't miss it. BUT I think it is good to have somewhere to put the baby down to sleep - we have a rocker. With DS it was a bouncy seat.


Changing tables are another unncessary thing. even the changing pad I placed on top of the dresser doesn't get much use.

post #13 of 22

I think it slightly varies for everyone, here is what I found I didn't care for:

- bibs - oh my god the bibs, everyone got us some, they never get used and even if they did they are too tiny to do much now that DD is 10 months old and getting food on herself sometimes

- washcloths - we don't use that many, during bathtime I give one to DD and use another to wash her with, the other dozen sits in the drawer (esp. the polyester blend ones, useless); we have flannel diaper wipes so they're not even useful for that; I've started using them to clean DDs face after meals just for something to do with them

- receiving blankets - again we have a dozen or so, use only a couple, maybe; now my in-laws were big on always draping one over them when DD was a baby even though she didn't spit up so they used them but I didn't

- baby bathtub - I took baths with DD and she really loved that, she could float on her back in the big tub with me holding her and get washed while on my chest; once she's started sitting unassisted I put her in the tub on her own with 2-3 inches of water, she likes that

- playpen - DD is not one to be left somewhere away from the action, if she will sit and play with toys I can do that on the floor wherever she is anyway

- baby gym - with the hanging toys, DD never liked laying on her back but always loved tummy time so we mostly detached the toys for her to play with while on her tummy

- swing - DH bought one and put her in it when he could, she fell asleep in it a few times but I could definitely have done without it

- excess of certain clothes - I find 2-3 sleepers per size is good enough till we do laundry which is usually weekly; also too darn many onesies that are either too small to wear with cloth diapers or look funny with them

- changing table - we use the top of a dresser and all the diapers etc are right there

- infant car seat - we used a convertible (Radian) and it's worked well even when DD was 7 lbs; I hate having to carry those darn infant seats, they hurt my back, so I would have never used that feature anyway

- things for DD to sit in like the bumbo, boppy, etc. - she didn't want to sit till she could sit herself up on her own and once she could do that she wouldn't go for anything around her/in her way


Some things we did find useful:

- newborn clothes - DD arrived at 37+1 weeks, we were expecting 41+ since she's the first baby so we got mostly bigger clothes; my mom went out and got us a few newborn outfits just so she'd have some stuff that fit

- stroller - I didn't want one and used the sling exclusively for the first 4-5 months but it got hot in the summer and DD and I would both sweat tons; it's also handy for an impromptu diaper changing station since it goes flat; I always keep the sling in the bottom pocket for when DD gets restless

- crib - we didn't use it at all for the first few months, but once DD got mobile it's our safe place to put her when I need to do something and can't bring her (shower, spray off a diaper); then DD would start the night in it and I'd bring her to bed with me when she woke; now she's mostly sleeping in her crib

- diaper sprayer - great now that we've started solids

- baby towels - we only have two and that is plenty for us, could make due with one even but I definitely wouldn't want more

- glider - use this lots to put DD to sleep, when she was little I would often sit in it while she napped and read a book or surf the web (I have a little table beside it)

- high chair - so far I'm happy with this even though we don't use it lots; we got the wood Svan one used on craigslist so we can get use out of it when she's bigger too; the tray is removable so DH can pull it up to the piano for DD to "play"

- cloth diapers and wipes

- ring sling

post #14 of 22

Haven't really used:


Recieving blankets (I sometimes put one on the floor, but go through maybe three a week...out of the dozen plus I recieved)


Crib (she hasn't been in it more than ten total minutes in her entire little life)  At least she'll have a nice big girl bed waiting for her when she's bigger.  it's one of those convertible ones.


Bibs.  I hate them.  I keep a CD insert handy and wipe her mouth with that.  Bibs get in the way.


Toys (at the newborn-3 month stage at least, hands, faces, and music are her only real interests...she has started to pay attention to a plastic rattle her nana bought her) 


Baby monitor: I've used it once.  Not worth the $100+ spent.


Stroller: I've taken it out twice.  Once to the mall, once for a walk.  She didn't mind it, but it is a pain in the butt.


Boppy: It is great for propping her in pictures and for her daddy to play with on his head, but I find it awkward for nursing.  I did use it during pregnancy as a pillow.  I don't regret the purchase, it is just simpler to nurse without for me.


Burp cloths: Again, like the bibs, I just wipe her with a cloth diaper insert.  She's doesn't spit up much, though.


Baby bath tub: I discovered a month ago the joy of having baby in the tub with me and haven't looked back.  Really didn't need that at all.



Things I've used more than I thought


Pack and play became our sidecar when she started rolling over super early.  I can't sleep comfortably and follow the night time safety precautions, so miss is beside the bed instead most of the time.  I love it.


Bottles.  Supply issue+full time work prompted the purchase.  She gets as much breastmilk as I can give her with everything going on, and some of that is coming from the freezer.


Pacifiers.  I was deadset opposed to them.  She's not a huge fan, but they help her sleep in the Moby when we're out and about.  I think it helps block out the stimulating outside world.  She only takes one occasionally, but on those occasions I'm glad we have it.  If she's not feeling it, she just spits it out, so no harm, no foul.


Swing: Another thing I was opposed to.  Got one for $25 on consignment, she's not in it much, but the ten minutes for a shower or to switch laundry or clean the litter box is invaluable.  She's happy, I'm happy, it works for us.


Newborn clothes: Everyone told us not to buy many.  Ha.  She's almost four months and I just packed them up.  I recommend not buying a lot of them, but setting aside a small 'just in case' budget in the event you get a tiny one who doesn't love to grow. 


Disposable diapers: I bought a sizable stash before she was born and nothing fit her until she was almost three months old.  I didn't want to put down cash for something she would only be in "a week or two".  In hindsight it would have been worth it to buy some smaller cloth, but we ran out and bought disposables when we brought her home and realized we only had the small pack from the hospital.  Now, they are useful to keep on hand for when we are washing diapers and we do use them at nighttime because we are looking for a cloth solution that doesn't leak or give her a rash.  Luckily, the disposables have never caused her any skin issues.  Now that we are in cloth most of the time, I love them.


Baby bath towels: I love the hooded towel.  I assumed we'd just use our normal towels, but I really do prefer these.


Things I just couldn't do without

Moby.  I wear the crap out of this thing.  I wear it around the house, when we're out, when I have to bring her to the office, and when I'm working from home.  I thought it was a bit steeply priced for a long piece of fabric, but I'm so glad I bought it.


Double electric breast pump: I work, I have a hand pump and used it at the beginning for engorgement, but I would be SOL without my electric pump. 


Carseat pod cover thing: Living in cold weather, this is much nicer than fussing with blankets.  For quick jaunts into the grocery store, I like to keep her in that because she really hates being exposed to the cold.


Halo swaddle: Best thing ever.  DD likes being swaddled but also wiggles a lot in her sleep.  She has hip dysplasia and I can't use anything else (that I've found) with her pavlik harness.

post #15 of 22

I found that there were many things that were different for baby one and baby two.


Stroller - I hardly used it all for number one but with DD2 I needed a bit more storage space if we all were going somewhere. We have a glorified umbrella stroller. It still packs small (it will go on the train at the Zoo) but still has a bit of storage and a shade.


bibs - DD1 had allergy issues and spit up ALL THE TIME but DD2 not so much. 


Changing pad - We repurposed our dining room buffet as a changing table. This worked well for both kids. When I started changing DD2 on the floor the pad was still useful because she had skin issues that required lots of lotions and ointmens. Having a place where she wasn't getting goop on the floor or bedding or picking up fuzzies was useful for us. The first one was so worn out I had to get a new one for baby two.


High chair - I would have like to not given up the space to a high chair but the one we have was very useful. It has a reclining seat so as an tiny baby she could sit nearby when I cooked. It is still useful for a toddler because you can remove the front part and push it up to the table. 


Pacifiers- I worked for orthodontists. I was dead set against them but DD needed them. DD2 wasn't interested after she got teeth. 


Other gagets I loved

Bouncy seat - both kids hated the swing. I wore them a lot of but a bouncy seat was a handy landing zone especially in the bathroom. 


Baby monitor - I have a small house but found it useful when working out in the yard or in the basement.


Crib musical fish night light thingy - Someone gave us this and I was ready to pass it along. DH attached it so I decided to try it. The nightlight was perfect because it came on gradually and was very diffuse. The lighted moving fish was pretty and relaxing even for me. The music part was okay. Pleasant but I would have liked a quieter setting. Our crib was sidecarred so I didn't have a bedside table or light I could easily reach. I could hook my glasses off this thing so I didn't have to go searching for them. I probably could have solved all these issues with some ingenutiy but if you need to direct a gift giving relative to something they can find at Target this thing might prove useful. 


Stuff we never used

Swing - hated it. hated the space it took up.


Onesies - we go so many. It was crazy. I still have unopened packages after 2 kids. 


Things I'll get for baby number 3

Infant clothes - Why oh why do I give away the all baby clothes. 


Baby wash clothes - I love them. I don't like huge sodden wash clothes for myself so if I'm just washing my face, for example, I'll use a tiny one.



post #16 of 22

Things I didn't find necessary :

(so far, dd is 6 mo)


nursery& all the decor& bedding that goes along



baby bath (she bathes with me)

co sleeper

bouncy seat



johnny jump up swing

changing table



breast pump & related accessories

baby Einstein

toys with batteries


disposable diapers/wipes

official "diaper bag"



Things I am glad I had:


a variety of carriers for different situations/phases/purposes we use the sling, ergo, woven wrap, stretchy wrap, k'tan and others. Not "necessary" to have all but nice. She is worn most of the time in the house, we don't have a stroller and we seldom drive.


Wrapsody water wrap: very important! I would not be able to shower when DH is at work without it and dd adores the shower!


car seat


clothes esp. wool things


cloth diapers,wet bags, cloth wipes, burp cloths (Gerber flats work best for us), potty, waterproof pads for diaper free time


snuggle wool for her to sleep on in our bed


some thick blankets and sheep skin for playing on the floor in our poorly insulated apartment




weleda calendula baby soap for her hands & occasionally other parts


nail clippers (a lot of people bite them but I never got the hang of it)


some simple wood and cloth toys (though she prefers non-toy things)


books! (We get them from the library too but not board books- those go straight into her mouth)

and books for me: the Dr. sears baby book & nighttime parenting have been very useful


baby monitor (would like a video monitor but don't have one)


thats all I can think of


could have gotten by with less though...

Edited by boater - 2/5/12 at 3:31pm
post #17 of 22

interesting how different people's needs are :) we use ALL the blankets our LO got when she was born. we use 2 pack n plays (one in our room, one downstairs-she has brothers and a dog!) i'm a BIG stroller user (i use them til they die-one for shopping or little rips to the store and a jogging stroller for jogging, rough terrain and snow.) my hubby's the kid bather and he uses the baby tub. i love the change table. we took it out of the house for a while and i didn't like it so we found a spot. i use bibs bc she drools a lot and i hate stained clothing. i hate it when people give you stained clothing or try to sell it to you. once again, we didn't really use the swing. maybe if i had a fancy one, my kids would like the damn thing. i used it for a short period of time.


Halo swaddler. ohmygoodness. i wish i had one for the first 2.



post #18 of 22

This is so interesting! It's funny how different we all are!


Things we didn't need...


  • crib - well, at least not for the first 6 months. We used a Pack N' Play with a newborn insert. I'd say hold off on the crib. It's easier in the beginning to have the LO in the room with you at night. You might end up co-sleeping and never need a crib, but the Pack N' Play is nice for naps.
  • play gym - We barely used this. It's so easily replaced by a soft blanket on the ground. I used an adult-sized soft blanket from Target. 
  • bottle warmer - We did use bottles because I worked, but a warmer is so unnecessary. We have an electric kettle that quickly boils water. Whoever was keeping DS would warm up some water (just not to boiling), pour it into a large mug, and set the bottle inside.
  • stroller - My husband and I have always used carriers. Once DS could sit up well, we used a wagon. He's now 16 months, and he mostly walks. It's 1/3 mile to the park, and he can easily walk it. 
  • wipes warmer - I just don't get this one. 
  • swing - We had a really nice, expensive swing. DS used it, but not much. 
  • formula - We never bought any, but it seems like someone was throwing it at us everywhere we turned. We got samples in the mail until DS turned 1. Then we got samples of toddler formula. Scary!


Things we love...


  • hospital suction bulb - You just can't find the same quality in the store, although I've heard the nosefrida is great. 
  • Aveeno Eczema Cream
  • white cotton bibs - DS was a spitter. It was nice that we could bleach these if needed.
  • onsies - again, DS was a spitter. We could go through so many in one day when he was tiny. 
  • Boppy - I know there are a lot of people out there that don't like the Boppy, but it worked perfectly for us. I used a pillow underneath to prop it up when DS was a newborn, and eventually used it without the extra support. DS is 16 months and we still use it. 
  • Sleep Mate - They're expensive, but they give off the best white noise. My in-laws have used the same Sleep Mates for over 30 years!
  • sling - I used them all the time during the 1st year! We still use them, just not as much.
  • cloth diapers - We used disposables, but a cloth diaper can clean just about any mess!
  • bathtub - I bathed with DS on occasion, and DH showered with him some. However, it seemed the bigger he got, the more slippery he got. The bathtub was just more practical for actual bathing. 
  • Medela Double Breast Pump - This helped so much. Not only did we never have to supplement, I pumped 533 extra ounces, which I donated when DS was 4 months old. 
  • food processor - I made all of DS's baby food. I still use it to puree fruits that we mix with his yogurt in the morning. 
  • board books - we read so much in our house! My MIL called me this morning and said DS had her read the same book 6 times before 8:00 AM!
  • Zoli Straw Cups - DS stopped taking a bottle at 8 months. The straws in these cups are weighted, so baby can get every last drop, which is so important when you are using them for breast milk. 



post #19 of 22

Oh, the blankets!  I have a million flannel receiving blankets.  I think I'm going to try to use the as flats if I need to!  I love my Moby wrap.  That's a must!  Everything else-eh.

post #20 of 22

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