In my "Baby Needs" post yesterday I mentioned that there are many baby products that for various reasons we don't use. Of course, this list, like my other one, is highly subjective. Don't feel bad if you do use all or even some of the things on this list. In a consumer driven world filled with baby registry lists and advertisements for all sorts of things, its just a good challenge to think about what you don't need and how to live simply. I'm sure your list would be different.
- crib, bumpers, sheets, crib mattress, co sleeper, snuggle nest, pack n play: Our babies sleep with us until about age two when they move up to a toddler bed. We simply add a bed rail to our bed and clear away any blankets and pillows from the baby. I love sleeping next to my babies, and its certainly handy for those night time feedings!
- disposables: diapers, breast pads, diaper genie and liners: Using cloth diapers and washable breast pads saves us from having to buy numerous disposable products. I do find that disposable wipes come in handy, but I'm planning to experiment with making my own.
- bottles, formula, bottle liners, bottle brushes, bottle warmers, pump: Breastfeeding has been extremely challenging for me in the beginning, but I'm thankful that with some good help and perseverance we've succeeded. I keep my babies with me all the time, so I do not even have to worry about pumping and all that goes along with that either.
- changing table, changing pad, changing pad cover: If I had plenty of space in my home I suppose I wouldn't mind having a changing table. As it is, we are in a small two bedroom house with soon to be four kids. We gave away our changing table in favor of just using a mat on the floor or bed. It works perfectly and I don't have to worry about the baby falling off of anything.
- play gym, toys, toys, and more toys: I have a simple basket filled with a few mostly safe toys that I've collected over time. We purposely choose things that do not have flashing lights and music. In fact, a simple blanket on the floor works better than a play gym with plastic toys hanging in baby's face. There are three big sisters around here who will happily keep baby entertained!
- baby food, baby food mills, blenders, and packaged baby snacks: I do make a bit of baby food, but usually just mashing up whatever is on our plates works best. I've tried baby food mills, but really, a fork works.
I often talk myself out of buying something by reading reviews on the product. I also think about what toxins I might be bringing into my home or exposing my baby to if I purchase the product. What type of plastic is it made of? Where is it made? Does it really work like I think it will? How sturdy is it? Is there a more natural choice? Many times we are better off with less.
What about you? Are there common baby things do you find yourself not needing?