Cheerful family carrying little baby boy in front of curtains at home

17 Baby Items That Are a Total Waste of Money for New Parents

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When it comes to baby products and marketing, it’s amazing what vulnerable new parents are convinced they need to buy. Of course, they need the latest comfort gadgets and stylish clothing for their sweet new bundle, regardless of the price tag.

Marketing strategies extensively leverage the anxieties and uncertainties inherent in the journey of new parenthood, encouraging parents to ponder the “what ifs” and make investments in these products. In reality, babies really don’t need much to thrive.

Seasoned parents share the products that were the biggest waste of money and that no one truly needs, especially when on a budget. So, let’s take a closer look at some of the most overhyped and overpriced items on the baby market and explore some budget-friendly alternatives for savvy and minimalist parents alike.

1. Changing Tables: An Overpriced Diaper Organizer?

Mother and baby on changing table
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Many parents believe they need a designated changing table to organize their baby’s diaper-changing area. However, changing tables is often expensive and takes up a lot of space, which isn’t practical for budgets or small spaces.

Instead, consider using a changing pad on top of a dresser, bed, or other sturdy surface (even the floor). This will save you money and space while providing a safe and versatile place to change your baby.

2. Diaper Genie: A Stinky Investment?

Mother Changes Dirty Diaper To Little Baby At Home
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Diaper genies are marketed as an odor-reducing solution for dirty diapers. However, they require special bags that can be expensive and contribute to plastic waste. Plus, the smell of taking out the trash is otherworldly disgusting if left for a few days. A better alternative is to use a regular trash can with a lid and empty it frequently. You can also use a reusable cloth diaper pail liner to reduce waste and save money.

This is by far one of the top baby items that seasoned moms cite as useless.

3. Cribs: From Dreamy to Dreary

Baby boy in a bed with toys in the children's room
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos

Cribs are a big-ticket item on many baby registries, but they can also be expensive and take up a lot of space. Instead, consider using a bassinet or co-sleeper for the first few months and then transition to a crib when your baby is ready.

You can wait to buy a crib and look for a used crib in good condition to save money. If you’re tight on space or want something more flexible, consider a pack n’ play.

4. Crib Accessories: Cute But Unnecessary and Unsafe

Happy smiling mother showing toys to her little baby son lying in cradle
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Many cute and trendy crib accessories are available, such as bumpers, mobiles, and bedding sets. However, these items are often unnecessary and can even be dangerous for your baby. To reduce this risk of suffocation and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), nothing should be in the crib for a sleeping baby.

Instead, stick to a simple fitted sheet and a breathable sleep sack for safe and comfortable sleep.

5. Wipe Warmers: Baby’s Delicate Behind or Overpriced Gimmick?

Mother cleaning up and wipes the baby buttocks by wet tissue
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Wipe warmers are marketed as a way to keep your baby’s behind warm and prevent discomfort during diaper changes. However, they are often expensive and might require special wipes, which can also be costly. Instead, use room-temperature wipes and warm them up in your hands before using them.

We promise that most babies really don’t care (or, more likely, they’ll hate being changed no matter how warm the wipe is).

6. Bottle Sterilizers: Are They Worth the Investment?

Bottle sterilizer next to an electric breast pump and bottle
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Bottle sterilizers are marketed as a way to eliminate germs and bacteria from your baby’s bottles. However, they can also be expensive and, ironically, just as time-consuming to use. Instead, you can wash your baby’s bottles in hot, soapy water and sterilize them by boiling them for a few minutes.

If bottle cleaning is overwhelming you, that IS a good time to invest in one.

7. Full Price Clothing: Do You Need to Dress Your Baby in Designer Duds?

Smiling mother and adorable baby playing at home
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Babies grow quickly and often soil their clothes, so spending a lot of money on designer baby clothing can be a waste. Instead, look for gently used or hand-me-down clothing, or opt for affordable basics that can be mixed and matched. In reality, babies will grow out of outfits quickly and stain many of them along the way with blowouts and spitup.

8. Heart Rate Monitors: Peace of Mind or Parental Paranoia?

happy mom and sleeping newborn baby
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos

Heart rate monitors are marketed as a way to monitor your baby’s vital signs and provide peace of mind. However, they can also be expensive and contribute to parental anxiety. They also haven’t been shown to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

Instead, trust your instincts, keep the baby in your room until they are closer to 1 year (as recommended to reduce SIDS risk), and monitor your baby’s breathing and movement without relying on technology.

9. Fancy Baby Monitors: Do You Need All the Bells and Whistles?

Modern baby monitor and toy on bed of sleeping infant
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Fancy baby monitors with video screens, Wi-Fi connectivity, and other features can be expensive and may not be necessary for many parents. Plus, Wi-Fi also brings privacy and hacking concerns.

Instead, consider a simple audio monitor or use a smartphone app to keep an ear out for your baby.

10. Stand Alone High Chairs: So Bulky?

baby eating with a spoon bowl bib
Photo credit:

Stand-alone high chairs can take up a lot of space and be expensive. They are hard to “tuck away” when you don’t need them, especially in small dining areas.

Instead, consider a portable booster seat that attaches to a regular chair or a clip-on high chair that can be used at home or on the go (much more versatile!).

11. Dock-a-Tot: A Cozy Sleep Solution or a Risky Choice?

Baby sleeps with a cradle
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Dock-a-Tots are marketed as a way to provide a safe and cozy sleep environment for babies. However, they have been linked to infant deaths and are not recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Instead, use a safe sleep environment, like a firm crib mattress or bassinet with a fitted sheet.

12. Baby Shoes: Cute, But Pointless

Shot of happy young mother with her baby boy playing on the floor of living room
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Baby shoes are so darn cute, and it seems that grandmas, neighbors, and friends love to buy them for this reason.

In reality, babies do not need shoes until they are walking, and even then, soft-soled shoes are recommended for proper foot development. Plus, shoes fall off all. the. time. Instead, opt for socks or footed onesies to keep your baby’s feet warm and protected.

13. Baby Swings: Do You Really Need One?

Newborn swing baby swing automatic electrical chair
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Baby swings can be expensive and take up a lot of space. Plus, some babies hate them. While they can be helpful for soothing some babies, they are not a necessity. Instead, consider using a baby carrier or wrap to soothe and bond with your baby while keeping your hands free. Or rent one for the short time babies can actually use them (usually up to 6 months).

Waiting to see what baby prefers and testing some of your friend’s models might be better before making the big purchase for something that’ll just collect dust.

14. Baby Bathrobes: Adorable or Unnecessary?

Cute baby after bath in yellow duck towel
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Baby bathrobes (and towels) are cute, but they take up unnecessary space and won’t be useful since you’ll likely dress your baby right after a bath. Plus, your baby will grow out of them quickly. Instead, use any soft towel you’ve washed with fragrance-free detergent to dry your baby after bath time. No need whatsoever for special towels!

15. Smart Cribs: A High-Tech Sleep Solution or an Unnecessary Expense?

Mother watching her baby sleeping in a crib
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Smart cribs with features like built-in cameras, monitors, and even voice-activated lullabies can be expensive and may not be necessary for all parents. Plus, it can make it hard for the baby to transition to a normal bed someday. Instead, consider using a simple crib and a separate baby monitor or smartphone app to keep an eye on your baby while they sleep.

If your baby struggles to sleep and you’re desperate for a solution, consider renting or borrowing a smart crib to see if it helps.

16. Brand New Fancy Strollers: Worth It?

stroller moms
Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

There are always shiny new strollers hitting the market with the latest gadgets, such as full suspension and two-way seating. Is it all necessary? That depends. For most moms, no.

A simple stroller that fits in the car easily (and can be folded easily) is the most important thing unless you plan to run or off-road often. Plus, there are plenty of used options to explore first.

17. Matching Brand New Nursery Furniture

Couple Adding Decorations To Nursery
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Nursery sets tend to be bulky and expensive. Plus, you may find you don’t need a designated changing area or that there isn’t enough space in the baby’s room for all the typical pieces.

Instead, focus on finding a crib that is functional and safe, and the rest isn’t necessary unless you want to splurge.

Save Money on Baby

Happy Family saving money
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Overall, it’s important to prioritize the items that are truly necessary for your baby’s health and safety and to be mindful of unnecessary expenses. Opting for budget-friendly alternatives or gently used items can save money without sacrificing quality.

Don’t let the baby marketing ads make you feel like you need all the things. Often, it’s best to wait until the new baby is here and you start to learn more about their little personalities and preferences.

30 Embarrassing Birth Moments That’ll Have You Laughing

pregnant woman laughing
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Are you prepared for a bit of humor? Childbirth, while undeniably gratifying, can also be an arduous and occasionally painful process. With the physical discomfort, emotional roller coasters, and the multitude of choices to be made, it’s hardly astonishing that countless mothers and fathers discover themselves in hilariously awkward scenarios during delivery!

30 Embarrassing Birth Moments That’ll have You Laughing

How to Be a Good Mother: 16 Practical Tips

mom and daughter mothers day
Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Being a mom is one of the world’s most important, challenging, and rewarding jobs. It’s also one of the most difficult to define. What does it mean to be a good mother? There are as many answers to that question, but none of them have anything to do with striving for perfection or doing more.

How to Be a Good Mother: 16 Practical Tips

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