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Here are 11 things you don't need to buy for your baby.  Perfect list for new moms!

Did you know that by 2018 they expect over 6,000 different companies online to be catering to the “baby product niche”.  The industry grosses over 11 billion yearly! While some of that revenue is items that you need to purchase (a crib, a car seat) many of the purchases made are based on people thinking they need every gadget and device to survive babyhood.  Don’t fall prey to this thought please!  You’ll have so many things sitting around your house that you used once, or even worse never touched.

Sitting here in the middle of my fourth pregnancy there are definitely some items that come to mind that we’ve never used.  There also a number of things that I can’t imagine life without, we’ll cover that list Monday.  Keep in mind this is our list, and that someone out there probably thinks that something on the list is a requirement.  We are all different, and as you will learn quickly we all parent differently.  The real goal here is to get you to really think about the worth of items before you run out all buy all of the baby section in the store!

11 Things You Don’t Need for Baby

bath tub

1.  Baby Bath Tubs & Bath Thermometers

Guess what, every home comes with one of these!  If your house isn’t equipped with a kitchen sink then I truly feel for you.  Don’t waste $30 on a cute little whale tub that you have to bend over and break your back to still hold the baby upright in (yeah they don’t just magically make this easier… they just look cute).  You have one arm wrapped around the baby, one arm trying to bathe and meanwhile you stopped breathing from the tub wall cutting off all circulation to your lower body. After that you’ll decide that babies aren’t dirty and never need baths!  Just stick with the sink.  It’s the perfect height, small and they aren’t going to be in there long anyway.

As for thermometers… you have ten fingers.  Stick one in first and you’ll know if it’s too hot.

2. Wipes Warmer

wipes warmer

This can cause a heated debate.  So many mama’s think that a cold wipe seems too harsh.  Really this is a contraption that most of us have never had, and now most pediatricians say you shouldn’t have because they increase bacteria and mold.  If it’s a super cold night, grab some wipes and run them under warm water in the sink first.  It’s not worth the $30 for the device that will just take up space though.

3. Baby Shoes

baby shoes

If you want to go crazy, spend 20 minutes trying to get shoes on a baby just to have both of them fall off in less time than you spent to put them on.  By all means don’t go out in public with those shoes, you’ll have strangers handing them to you all through the grocery store as you keep losing them and don’t even realize it.  Put them in stockings, use a blanket, there are a lot of other ways to keep toes warm!  Shoes are cute, that’s why they get bought.  Anyone with more than one kid will tell you though that they are useless.  We don’t start using shoes on our kiddos until they start walking.  Until then they make every old lady cringe, but are perfectly happy and healthy.

4. Full Bedding Sets


Save the $100+ on bedding sets, please!  You can’t even use everything in it from the very start, but yet they still sell it and make you think you need it.  Babies need less things in their crib, not more.  No bumper pads, no blankets… they just need a sheet.  Want to go anti-cute?  Save those big disposable chuck pads they give you in the hospital (you’ve already paid for them anyway) and use those as waterproof pads for a bit.   Little ones don’t move when they sleep for a few months, but they do spit up, pee and many other things that make crib sets very dirty.  Save yourself the laundry and go simple.

5. Changing Table


This is one item that I do have, but only because my husband made one for me years ago.  Don’t go to the store and spend $150-$200 on one though.  Many parents use the couch, the floor and any other flat surface for this task.  Just because you have a changing table in their room doesn’t mean that you’ll trek up to their room throughout the day for diaper changes.  You’ll end up with hidden stashes of diapers all over the house so that you never have to leave the room you’re in.

To make your own table, we went to the Habitat Restore and bought an bathroom cabinet someone had donated.  It cost $10 and my husband painted it and made a new top that could hold a changing pad.  Total spent was less than $30 (I don’t remember exacts since this was over 10 years ago, but I do know that $30 would have killed the budget).  We’ve used this same table for all our kids.  It’s seen some wear and tear but has been a great investment over a particle board table that cost an extreme amount.

6.  Convertible Cribs

convertible crib

First, note that not I’m saying that you don’t need a crib.  You do.  And if you want parenting advice here… you need to use it.  Your marriage and sleep is important.  That’s all I’ll say.  Now don’t waste your money (or anyone elses) on a convertible crib.  They sell all sorts of these, some that turn to toddler beds, some that grow all the way from a crib to a double bed.  Guess what, around the time your sweet angel turns 1 they will view this crib as an amazing teething toy.  Your dreams of a great headboard someday were dashed by their sweet teeth marks all over the top bar.  Focus on a crib that can stand up to multiple kids.   That’s my only tip.  I know you may only want one kid, but if you buy a decent crib you can always resell it.

For cribs that convert to toddler beds, I’d love to hear how many of you did this.  We had cribs that would do this supposedly, but the mattress still doesn’t come any lower so in reality it’s still a pretty high bed for a toddler.  We never did convert them, we just bought toddler beds (remember we had twins first) for $20 each at a consignment sale.  True toddler beds are only 5-6 inches off the floor.

7. Bottle Drying Racks, Warmers, (and anything else in this category)

dring rack

I’m pretty sure we all have the same battle of winning back the kitchen counter.  Don’t add to the difficulties with lots of things that will take over the kitchen.  Heat up a glass of water and stick the bottle in it, no warmer needed!  Open up the dishwasher and let clean bottles dry in there (an instant drying rack you already own).   For that matter most bottles are dishwasher safe so just toss the bottle brush and stick them straight in!  That takes care of all the warmers and sterilizers they sell too.

One other tip, don’t buy a ton of the same bottle.  You never know what you are going to end up liking most.  Also for mama’s that plan to breast feed, don’t look at the word bottle with disdain.  You too will use bottles, you will eagerly pump and then poke your husband in the middle of the night and say “it’s your turn” just like everyone else.  We all have those nights.  And yes if you are curious we are a breastfeeding family.

8. Baby Detergents


Babies are good with what you use to clean your clothes.  Don’t buy into special soaps and cleaners just for the tiniest person in the house.  If you want to go organic cleaners do it for the whole family.  Dreft is the one that lots of folks grab, but this laundry detergent never goes on sale and twice the price of other leading detergents!  Grab the “Free & Clear” version of other detergents and you’ll have an even better product.

Note: you do need special detergent for cloth diapers.

For cleaners try out just using vinegar and water, add lemon peels to the bottle to help it smell better.  Problem solved a lot cheaper!

9. Baby Food Makers

baby food maker

Let me introduce you to the best food masher.  It’s called a fork. Smash peas, carrots, pears and more with no gadget or device needed.  If you do want to make large batches your kitchen blender will do the trick too.  Also skip special storage containers, grab some old fashioned ice cube trays and freeze food in those and then put it all in a Ziploc bag together by type.   Making your own baby food is definitely the way to go, but once you start paying for gadgets you’ve ended up saving nothing.

10. Fancy Diaper Bag

diaper bad

This one took me a few years to learn.  Every new mom wears a big sign around their neck with the massive diaper bag stocked with everything that could possibly be needed in the next 24 hours.  With each child you start realizing that the big bag only adds more stress and buy the time you have your fourth you shove a diaper in your purse and have wipes in a ziploc bag.  If they wet through their pants, then come home in a diaper… it’s about survival here and the 40 lb bag just weighs you down.

If you are still a bag toter after a few kids, at least go practical and just get a small backpack.

11. Complete Randomness


Okay this is a vague group, but you know what I mean here.  There are so many random gadgets and doodads that no one ever knew they needed.  Pacifier wipes, pee-pee teepees, baby tracking lists and apps… this could be a never ending list.  Just know that the more clutter you add doesn’t make parenting easier, it doesn’t help you sleep anymore and doesn’t make things safer. It’s just clutter.

 What would you add to this list?

    • guest

      Agreed with many of these, and in general to question what you need. But our convertible crib (pretty reasonably priced DaVinci crib) is being put to good use as a toddler bed – for the second time, by our second child. A low dresser stores clothes and is fabulous as a changing table that never need be outgrown. And honestly I had the baby bath pictured and really liked it. Not a necessity, but I found it worth it. I’ve found many seasoned moms differ in their opinions of what was useful!

      • Pamela Fairley

        I love just about everything you listed lol I use my tub all the time. I love my flower bottle drainer, I have bags I pump into and I wash and dry on the drier perfectly. My 19 year old niece sleeps on her full size bed. That’s why we bought a nice one for my son. I love my wipe warmer and use it to wipe my hands and his bottom…

    • Can you make a post about the items a mom CAN’T live without? Like you said, a good crib, maybe bulk boxes of wipes, etc?

      • That’s coming Monday :)

    • Tiffani

      I disagree with the bathtub part (my sink always has dishes and its less trouble to just put the baby in the tub), the changing table (we used a dresser top for both our kids and an actual changing table at grandparents’ house– used them all the time), the bottle drying rack/dish rack (we used lots of bottles for daycare and i handwashed them– again lots of dishes in the sink and dishwasher), and the convertible crib part (my son has the double bed and never chewed on it and my daughter will be in the double bed from her crib once we buy a mattress). Everyone is different I guess.

    • Meyer Couponers

      Amen on the crib sista! lol!

    • Jess

      I agree with you on the dreft and wipes warmer. And the only thing I bought while making baby food was new ice cube trays.

      On the convertible crib I definitely disagree. We bought a relatively inexpensive one at Walmart and it has worked great for us. LO never chewed on his crib so that helped, but since it is made to drop down as the baby gets more mobile we were able to use the conversion kit with the bed on its lowest setting and have a great toddler bed. The one piece of advice I have on that is to make sure you buy the piece that converts it when you buy the bed because it may be hard to find in a couple of years

    • Heather

      Surprisingly, I actually agree with you about every single item on this list.

    • Kristin

      You don’t need the terry cloth socks – those suckers NEVER stay on a fat little foot. Also, baby towels are a waste of money. I honestly don’t believe those towels could even dry my hands.

    • Ashley

      I have to say I love my changing table. My girl’s room is in the back of the house so we put the changing table in the hallway close to where we do all our living. When I change her anywhere else, she tries to get away. With her changing table there’s nowhere to go.
      Also, my drying rack. I never bought a lot of bottles so I was constantly washing and they fall over in the dish drain. She’s almost two and I still use it for drying her straw cups.

    • crystalfawn

      I agree that so many of the gadgets that we buy today are unnecessary but I disagree when it comes to a baby tub. I don’t think it’s hygienic for the baby or the family to have the baby bath in the kitchen sink. We use the sink to wash our dishes, food etc. In addition, babies have been known to have voiding accidents in the tub. That’s just not what I want in a kitchen sink around food that we eat Lol. I used the baby tub on the counter…no leaning over :)

    • Renee

      I know everyone is different and for me I don’t agree with all of these. As far as the bathtub and thermometer, I would recommend. It was easier as a first time mom to have those. Also, my temperature of warm bath isn’t the same as some peoples. I would weigh on the side of caution. Also, we do have a changing table and love it. We bought it at a goodwill for $14 and it was in great shape.

    • L

      Yes, yes, yes!! I have four kids and agree 100% with everything you list. The more kids you have, the less unnecessary junk you need.

    • Rebecca

      Our baby bathtub is made to fit on top of the kitchen sink. I used that with all 4 of my children for a couple months, then I used the baby bathtub in the regular tub until they could sit well without support. I see your point about the baby bathtub, but for me I wouldn’t want to live without a baby bathtub. Trying to lay the baby down in the sink or hold them in a sitting position (once they can hold their head up) sounds like too much of a challenge for me. Of course, as with everything baby, ask 10 moms a question and you’ll likely get at least that many opinions. :)

      I used a changing mat on top of the dresser for my first one (my sister insisted I NOT change him on the floor). I used it for my 2nd one too and it was kinda gross by the time the 3rd one was born, so it went in the trash and my 3rd one and my 4th one were changed on the floor. :)

      I don’t think I used any of the rest of that stuff though.

    • Daryl Ann Guy

      The best investment I did make though was glass bottles they can be much more easily cleaned than plastic…

    • jmsifford

      Itzbeen baby timer. It was helpful with my first, but with my second I had a smartphone and just used an app to track feedings, etc.

    • Stephanie McCann

      You can purchase a crib rail cover to protect the convertible crib rail. My son chewed on the sides of the convertible crib, which those pieces are not part of the full bed. The toddler setting was low on it, but the full is actually higher with the box spring than my king size bed.

      • Kelly Nelson

        Stephanie, you may want to replace the box spring with a bunkie board for the time being. A bunkie board serves the same purpose but puts the mattress a good bit lower. Good luck!

    • bobbie

      By the time my little one was 2 we had towels tapes all around her crib rails, she took almost all the varnish off with the biting and would not quit.

    • Lynn

      Most of these things didn’t even exist when I raised my children in the 80s and 90s, so I’m sure I didn’t need them, but the baby bathtub, like the one pictured, was one of my favorite items for all 3 kids. Positioned across my kitchen sink, it made bathing the baby so easy and no struggle to hold a slippery baby upright in the sink or regular bathtub!

    • Sarah

      The Diaper Genie! I know so many moms that want to get one for their first baby – but those things are nasty! Yes, they keep the poop smell away – until you open it and it’s a long string of poop diapers like a giant sausage. We just get a trash can in the nursery for pee diapers and walked poops out to the kitchen trash in the garage, which went out at least every other day. No smell.

    • Carol

      My sister lives in Florida and the baby bath tub is great for taking a baby or toddler to the beach. We take it to the beach, put some water from the ocean in it and some bath toys and my niece has a blast in the tub.

      • babs

        Great idea! I will remember this when I am a grandmother, hopefully, soon!

    • Kristen

      I found a heating pad on low placed in the crib was great for when I laid my son down after he fell asleep in my arms- remove pad and no shocking cold sheet!

    • Jenn

      I used 1 and 5 all the time.

    • redteapot

      Hi Jenny, You asked who actually did the convertible crib thing, well we did. So here is my story. I was 38 and pregnant with twins, my husband insisted we get the Crib for Life he had heard about at work.
      Well we live in Lake County Florida and the closest one was Longwood (East Orlando). He and I picked them out and he paid installments on them during the pregnancy.(800 $ for both of them). I have always been frugal and really thought he was getting ripped off, but I followed his lead anyway. Long story short, we did convert to toddler beds about 3 years old and now my twins are 16 and still enjoying there Crib for Life converted into a full size bed. So I guess I am one of the ones who actually did it. Well… my darling husband did. He also got us a Diaper Genie and to tell you the truth both of those items were awesome investments to us with the twins. I never smelled a dirty diaper in my house except when we changed them.:0

      • Dawn in FL

        I’m from lake co too ~ Sorrento/Mt Dora ????

    • redteapot

      PS. I forgot to tell you that he got a dresser also with Crib For Life and It flipped upside down to become a changing table and when they were out of diapers it flipped the other way into the dresser. You have to flip the drawers too. Well our son is still using it with his Crib for Life bed. Thought I would add that little piece of history. Fun to reminisce.

    • Laura

      I agree! Also – you don’t need a bouncer, AND an exersaucer, AND a swing AND a jumpy thing – These things are large and take over your house. Choose one thing for each floor of your house – like a bouncy seat in your bedroom/bathroom for when you have to pee or fold clothes or something, and an activity seat for the living area/kitchen. I really wish I hadn’t spent (or registered for) $200 on the bedding and all the matching accessories for my first-born’s nursery. You are so right- you can’t use most of it, and you can’t sell it or give it away. My 2nd got sheets and a few things from IKEA to tie the room together.

    • Stella

      I used a wipes warmer (the same one, actually) with both of mine and loved it! We also used the nursery furniture, including a changing table, for both kids – the changing table was actually just a dresser with the mirror removed – it’s now used as a TV stand in our playroom. The convertible crib was used by both kids and is now a great full size bed for my daughter. I also loved our diaper genie – but they do wear out after a while. We went through one every two years or so. My biggest tip is to buy everything as neutral as possible. Most of our baby stuff (not including clothes) was bought new for my son and handed down to my daughter!

    • Jean

      I agree with everything except the changing table. We bought a used one and it has been a life saver ! Yes,we always go to that room to change her diaper…

      • Jenn

        We also used our changing table all the time.

    • Kelly Nelson

      As a long-time customer service manager within the baby industry, there are a few things you should know about convertible cribs. First, when you buy your convertible crib from a locally owned baby store, the store will gladly provide touch up paint or stain for your crib if needed and usually at no charge. Second, many stores sell teething guards which are fabric pieces that tie around the side to provide a safe, sanitary teething surface. Third, most babies chew on the side facing the door in anticipation of the parents entering the room. If you are going to convert to a full size bed, have one of the short sides face the door as they do not become part of the full size conversion. That said, probably only half of the people who intend to convert their crib actually do. Be aware of a few factors when deciding whether or not to buy a convertible. First, if you plan on having more children, you may want to reuse the crib. Decide whether you would rather leave this furniture with this baby or keep it as a nursery. Second, evaluate your space. Not all children’s rooms can accommodate a full size bed with the other furniture. Finally, consider the aesthetic & the layout of the room. Because convertible cribs fit against the wall “sideways”, it may be a better or worse fit for your room. If you are planning to convert your crib, make sure to purchase the rails in advance. Companies go under, finishes change, hardware changes, & life happens. Happy shopping!

    • salomelife

      I agree with everything on this list. If you do buy baby items, get it used or at a discount. If you ask around (Church, work, school, etc.) there are many parents that are all too happy to unload their gently used baby items, especially if their kids are grown.

    • Debbye

      12. Baby towels
      13. A diaper pail
      14. Shopping cart/high chair covers

      • Britta

        Absolutely. If you want a smaller towel, use a hand towel. I found it cheaper to get a kitchen sized trash can with a foot peddle and tight lid. No special refills to buy, just trash bags. Lysol it down between bag changes (just don’t do it too close to the baby.) Shopping cart covers give you a false sense of cleanliness. Unless you are putting it in a bag and throwing it in the washer every time you go out, you are carrying the germs from the cart to your diaper bag, car, or house. Carts are gross, wipe them down or strap the baby to you. Hard surfaces are quicker and easier to clean than fabric.

    • Tarah

      We used the tub and the wipe warmer a ton. I would not classify them as a need but I don’t classify much in the need category. But they were things that helped us a lot. On the other hand, my kids have never slept in the crib we bought, and we still slept well (better) and our marriage is great. We got the convertible crib, but only because the crib we wanted happened to be convertible and was cheaper than the other cribs we wanted. But I agree, never used the conversions. It is too big and bulky. We just bought a toddler bed (cheap and made of hardwood even) and then my oldest has a twin bed (also cheap). I think our crib, toddler bed, and twin bed, all totaled cost us less than most cribs I see.

    • Rebecca

      You totally need something to be used as a changing table! Most kids aren’t toilet trained for at least 2 years, some (like my son) more like 3 years. Changing a 3 year old on a tiny changing table (one made for an infant) is a whole different ball game. Eventually we switched to using the top of my dresser because it was bigger, and never went back to the changing table for our 2nd kid (it was just that much more convenient having room for wipes and extra room for baby legs hanging off of the pad). Buy something, even if it’s a huge dresser from a thrift store, and you’ll never regret it!

    • Joy

      we used our changing table to hold the baby bath tub when my second came home from the hospital. It was the perfect height to bathe at. When she got bigger we stuck the baby tub in the big bath tub. There was just something gross about putting a dirty baby in the same place where I was going to clean my dishes.

    • Rae Coupon

      i *heart* this list so much! Add “the internet” to things new parents should avoid.

    • Amber Cronan Wickham

      Our 5 year old is still using his convertible crib. It’s now a double bed. We’re expecting #2 in October, and she has a convertible as well.

      I’d add a monitor to the list (video monitor even more so). Most of our houses are large enough that if baby cries, you will hear them without a fancy one-way walkie-talkie. As long as at least one grown-up is in the house, you don’t need one.

      • Lee

        We converted to a toddler bed, and even specifically got one that would convert to a twin. Unfortunately we didn’t realize until we were ready to convert to the twin, that the package to convert it was going to cost another $120! We ended up buying a bed off Craig’s list instead of trying to do that. I loved the furniture, it was beautiful, and had a hard time getting remind of it knowing that we had planned on it being a lot longer term, but we couldn’t handle the extra investment.

    • Alicia Beccarelli

      1. It is proven that moms who cosleep get more sleep than those who get up repeatedly. Fyi.

      2. The only items you need are clothing of some kind, diapers, and wipes. Nothing else is a “need”.

      • tori729

        I definitely don’t get more sleep when baby sleeps with me. He constantly wakes me up. So I don’t think that’s a proven fact. I honestly think it’s preference/family decision whether you cosleep or not.

      • CC

        Also proven that co-sleeping can be dangerous. Always had my kid in a basin eye or crib, never in our bed. She also has special needs and very low muscle tone and spent over a week in intensive care. No way was I going to take a chance.

    • Shawna

      My convertable crib only went to a toddler day bed and did go quite low. It was maybe 7 -8 inches from the ground in lowest mattress height.. And it was totally worth it. We used it till she was potty trained and then we got her a new big girl bed that she will have for a while! Also Thermometers are a must have, it is dangerous not to have one!

    • tori729

      We use our changing table all the time, but that’s because we use cloth diapers and have to have a place to store them and the cream and pail, etc.I can see where if you use disposables and don’t need a lot of storage, not using one.
      I also loved a baby bathtub. Those itty bitties are SO slippery and the sink was a total bust. I liked to have a place to put baby so he/she wouldn’t fall into the water.

    • Sara

      I don’t think there are any baby items that are never ever need items- someone made it up, so it’s probably useful to someone in their circumstance. I can’t bring myself to use a kitchen sink to bathe an infant because of how gross a kitchen sink is and is have to clean the sink out to use it as a bath every single time. I used a baby bath tub with my first two kids and then discovered the little baby bath sponge thing and was able to ditch the tub and put that sponge on the floor of the regular tub for my third baby. Baby bath thermometer- didn’t even know that existed. That’s what our hands are for.

      I think some momma’s like to have a pretty diaper bag cause it can make them feel pretty to carry a prettily bag! We all need a little pretty in our lives after being spit up and popped on all day. The wipes warmer- wish I bought one used or something- would have been great that first month. A changing table- I have used a changing pad on a dresser for all 3 kids till they are out of diapers. Doesn’t mean I use only that to change diapers- but you gotta have some where you keep diapers in the baby’s room. I’ve used both Cloth diapers and disposables over the years.

      Shoes are a waste.

      A used crib is definitely the way to go. Find someone who bought fancy furniture for their 1 kid and you’ll be set.