8 Baby Buys the Experts Say You Don’t Need
When you’re pregnant or a new mum, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the endless list of things you’re told are must-buys for your baby. Here, we pick out the items you really don't have to spend your money on, and offer some cheaper – and often better – alternatives to consider instead.
1. You Don’t Need: A ‘Nappy-Disposal System’ Bin
Purpose-designed nappy-disposal systems seem like a clever idea at first, but they’re over-engineering a minor issue and mean you have to keep buying ‘cartridges’ to wrap nappies in.
Instead: Lidded nappy bin. Pop nappies into disposal sacks in a plastic bin with a lockable lid – empty it daily and this will keep dirty nappies out of reach and odours at bay. Cheaper, and there's no need to buy cartridges.
2. You Don’t Need: Baby Weighing Scales
Healthy babies don’t require weighing daily and doing so can become an obsession! If you’re worried about your baby’s weight, seek advice from your health visitor or GP.
Instead: Bathroom weighing scales. To get an idea of their weight, jump on some normal digital bathroom scales holding your baby, and then not. Subtract the latter number from the former and you’ve got an idea of your baby’s weight.
3. You Don’t Need: A Bottle Warmer
Many electric bottle warmers take so long to heat that your baby’s screamed himself into a frenzy before it’s ready! Plus, they clutter your surfaces.
Instead: Travel Bottle Warmer. Keep a flask of hot water ready, pour into a tub, then put the milk in – practical during a night feed or when you're out. This one is well-priced and the right size for a couple of feeds.
4. You Don’t Need: Newborn-size (150ml) Baby Bottles
Newborn feeding bottles will quickly become too small for the amount of milk your baby needs. Then you’ll just end up buying full-size versions.
Instead: 250+ml Anti-colic feeding bottles. Skip the 150ml in favour of big bottles. If you need newborn teats with a slower flow – and these aren’t included with larger bottles – they can be bought separately. This will still cost less than two sets of bottles.
5. You Don’t Need: Baby Bath Unit
Similar to a changing unit but with a baby bath on top, filling and emptying it can be a faff. They’re quite expensive for something only used for months, and they take up lots of space, too.
Instead: Baby bath. Use this practical bath in your bathtub. It’s quicker and easier to fill as it’ll be right by the taps and plug hole, so there’s no wandering about with jugs of water or carrying a tub full of water.
6. You Don’t Need: Baby Changing Bag
There are masses of lovely changing bags designed for carting around all the stuff newborns need. But there’s very little that’s special about the bags themselves versus any large-ish bag!
Instead: Skip-Hop Pronto Changing Station. Clever mums stick with any decent-size bag and adapt it by adding a changing pouch. With a folding mat, room for up to four nappies and a case for wipes, it’s all you need.
7. You Don’t Need: A Potty
When it comes to toilet training, a potty seems obvious. But smart parents try to send their toddler straight to the loo, taking away the job of emptying and washing a potty.
Instead: Toilet Trainer Seat. Place this on top of your toilet seat, add a step to help them climb up and skip potty mess. They'll also get used to using the loo, so no worries about making the transition from potty to toilet.
8. You Don’t Need: Top-and-tail Bowl
Top-and-tail bowls are for giving your newborn a wash when they don’t need a full bath. One section is for their face and the other for their bottom, so you can keep them separate. They’re cheap but in use for a very short period. Instead: WaterWipes. Many parents use wipes to clean their newborn from day one. They're made with 99.9% water and 0.1% fruit extract, so they’re extra gentle on newborn skin.