What Not to Buy When Expecting a Baby

baby-blanketShopping for your first baby? Here’s what not to buy.

If you’re expecting your first baby, chances are you’re being bombarded with the ins and outs, rights and wrongs, and do’s and don’ts of parenting. There’s so much contradictory information out there. It’s hard to know how much of it is actually useful. 

If you’ve wandered every aisle of every baby store in your area and are still none the wiser about what you do and don’t need, read on. We have a few ideas.

Crib bedding

Top of the list of ‘things you definitely don’t need’ is fancy crib bedding. Yes, it’s cute, and yes, it looks great, but don’t buy it. Bumpers are a choking hazard and shouldn’t be anywhere near a sleeping baby, and loose blankets and pillows are also a massive no-no. Why would you buy bedding you can’t use? Pass on the bedding, and put the cash toward something you actually do need, like nipple shields or diapers.

Wipe warmer

Wipe warmers are among the most unnecessary items we can think of. You simply don’t need to warm up wipes when changing your baby, and they cool down so fast. Once they’re out of the warmer, they’re cold again by the time you use them. Your baby won’t mind a cold wipe!


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Baby bathtubs are cute and all, but you don’t actually need one. They’re bulky, they take up a lot of space, and it’s perfectly possible to safely bathe your baby in your adult bathtub. Put a small towel down in the bath, lay the baby on it, and wash them gently in very shallow water. Done!

Clothes and shoes

From a clothing perspective, any clothing that goes over your baby’s head might be more trouble than it’s worth. Babies generally don’t like having their clothes changed, so anything you can do to make it easier is a win. That way, you can concentrate on handling their flailing arms and legs without having to worry about their head, too. Try Bitsy Bug outfits for adorable clothing ideas.

You also absolutely, definitively not need to buy baby shoes. Your baby doesn’t need to wear shoes until they’re walking. Tiny shoes might be cute, but they’re not practical, don’t fit well, and will probably fall off within five minutes of being put on. There’s also some evidence that shoes can restrict babies that are learning to walk. Stick to bare feet when appropriate and socks or booties for when it’s cold outside.

Changing table

Babies need to be changed several times a day, but parents don’t need to buy changing tables. Just buy a changing mat, and put it down wherever the baby is – on the floor works best.

Baby swing

Some parents swear by baby swings as the only thing to calm a fussy baby down, or just to have a place to put your baby while you get something done. However, that doesn’t mean you actually need one, and you certainly don’t need to worry about having one while your baby is tiny, as they’re not appropriate for newborns.


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Ava Moore
BA, MA Psychology (and Conflict Resolution), University of Cambridge (2007). With a decade of trial and error in psychology and 33 years of navigating my own complex (that's one word for it!) relationships with family, friends, co-workers and men, I hope I have some useful knowledge and skills to share with my readers about making sense of relationships and trying to become a better person every day.

I'm the Chief Editor here at Independent Femme and would love to hear from you.

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