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Babies are fun, cute, cuddly and freaking expensive!  Before my son, I never felt so rich in my heart or so broke in my wallet.  From doctor visits to cribs, the bills start to pile up where your savings used to be.  So, in my infinite new-mom wisdom (ha!) I will give you a few money saving tips for what baby stuff to skip, whether you are about to become a parent or need a gift for one.

1.            Wipe Warmer.  This is a waste of money, space, and electricity.  Think about this: your baby is sitting in a hot, sticky, plastic-y, papery diaper all day and night, and you know the stuff filling up those diapers is also warm and sticky.   Don’t you think a cool clean wipe would feel good after all that?  Besides, your baby will have a lot ruder awakenings in the future than a cold wipe, he can tough it out.

2.            Crib-in-a-Bag Sets.  Ok, so you saw the pictures in the baby catalogue with the nursery all set up, a warm and cozy wonderland of fluff and cuteness.  And you thought “oooh, so sweet! But how will I afford it?”  Well, great news!  You won’t have to because the American Academy of Pediatrics has labeled this a SIDS deathtrap.  Bumpers, pillows, quilts, positioners, are some of the cute but unsafe items that come in bedding sets.  Some people buy all this just to take a picture, then they stuff most of it into a closet.  Big waste of money!  A crib needs a fitted sheet and a wearable blanket or light cotton blanket, that’s it.  Another waste item in these sets and also sold separately is the diaper stacker, a hanging fabric sack that holds diapers.  It’s cute in a matchy-matchy kind of way, but ultimately useless and annoying to keep refilling.  Put a stack of diapers on the changing table or fill a dresser drawer.

3.            Newborn Clothes and Shoes.  New babies sleep, …a lot. What they need for that are sleepers, not a ton of tiny jeans or frilly skirts or three piece suits.  It’s not like they wake up in the morning and get ready for a day at the office.  They get up to eat, then go right back to bed.  Also, they grow out of this size so quickly (if they ever fit into them at all).  Get a few “nice” outfits for pictures, coming home from the hospital, or special occasions like baby’s christening or blessing at church.  As for baby shoes: bottom line, babies don’t need shoes until they start walking. Before then, barefoot is better for muscle development and to allow growth and formation of feet. Get some socks to keep those piggies warm or crotchet some booties during that long third trimester.

4.            Drool Bibs.  You will need plenty of large bibs when your little one starts eating solids (those mashed peas get everywhere!), but you don’t need the tiny bibs designed for new babies to drool or spit up on.  They are even too small for doing that job well.

5.            Baby Monitor.  With audio and video night vision monitors you could drop a wad of cash on these, but the truth is you don’t need them.  Unless you live in a mansion or spend an inordinate amount of time in your garden or garage you will hear when your baby needs you.  Also, baby monitors can rob you of precious moments of sleep new parents are desperate for.  You hear every little squeak and wiggle the baby makes.  It continually wakes you up and turns you into a paranoid freak, anxiously listening to every breath the baby makes wondering, “Was that normal? …Was THAT normal??”  Get some rest, save your money.

Baby stores would love for you to buy one of everything in their inventory, and well-meaning friends and grandparents would love to buy them for you.  But you don’t need all of it, and what you really don’t need is a money crunch on top of the new-parent stress.  Friends of new parents, please don’t waste your money on something they will never use or use only once.  New parents are really grateful for help, so buy them necessities, not a bunch of “cute” junk to fill up their house. Diapers and wipes are always welcome and in a variety of sizes—my kid only wore one newborn diaper, in the operating room, fresh from the oven, and it looked like a bikini.  The nurse took one look and said, “That’s not going to work.” So all the packages of newborn diapers from my shower are in the back of the closet in hopes that baby #2 isn’t 10lbs and a week overdue.

Finally, to the baby gift searchers out there, when in doubt, ask the proud parents what they need.  And to those new moms and dads, good night, good luck, and happy savings.


Article publié pour la première fois le 12/03/2012