5 Baby Essentials I May Do Without.

A post on r/BabyBumps got me thinking about all the things that we have around now for babies that we really didn’t use to use in the past. Some are great innovations. Expecting a baby and having a family history of clotting disorders makes you appreciate things like Vitamin K shots. But others seem… not so useful. So here are five “baby essentials” I can’t see myself using.

1: Bath thermometer.

I know the temperature needs to be right. But I also know how to use my elbow to check temperature. I’m sure a thermometer is more accurate, but I’m not sure the water needs to be exactly 37.50000C. Plus, if I really do panic we have a few waterproof thermometers in the med set that work just fine.

2: A full cot.

There is not a lot of space in the cottage. It’s not a small house, but we have a gym, a tutoring room, two pets and a lot of books. And I don’t think having one cot in one room in an old, cramped cottage with a dog running around will help in the long run. Baby will be in a moses basket, then I will move her/him onto a travel cot, with a decent mattress installed. That way baby can be with me when napping, watch me when I need to keep her/him confined and the cot can go away when we need floor space.

3: Baby bath.

Almost every site for second hand baby goods lists numerous baby baths “never used” or “used once”. Apparently everyone finds it easier to use a sink, or to just hop into a few inches of warm water with baby!

4: Maternity clothes.

Have you seen the prices?! Even the cheaper ones are in the £20 range, for something I will wear for 3 months and store for a year before I need it again.

I’m sticking with my usual strategy for general clothes: good charity shop buys. I have two dresses now that should fit me the whole way, and if I need any more I can just throw on a big dress and go out shopping again.

I struck lucky with bras and have found some sports bras that have no underwire, are soft and elastic and can be comfortably rolled up and down, even one boob at a time, so I might not need maternity bras either.

5: Disposable nappies.

Bit of a trick one here. I know I will probably use a few in the first days as I get the hang of having a baby. But I got what looks like hundreds of reusable nappies for free and in no way do I want to spend money on something I already got.

So those are five “essentials” I really don’t see the point of. What is your angle? Am I getting anything wrong? Is there anything else we can do without, in your experience? Would love to hear from other veteran mums and mums-to-be on the subject!

TTFN and Happy Hunting!


For help starting out homemaking, check out The ESSENTIAL Beginner Homemaker’s Guide. For help budgeting all your everday and not-so-everyday essentials, from food to transport to clothes, check out On A Budget: The good homemaker’s guide to economizing.

9 thoughts on “5 Baby Essentials I May Do Without.

  1. LOL! I love this, what fond memories you bring back. I like to travel light and avoid clutter, so as little baby accessories as possible! I shaved it down to a diaper and a bottle by the time I got to the last kid. 🙂

    So you need the basics, diapers and some clothing and maybe a car seat, but beyond that, it is all for comfort, convenience, and fun. I had a plastic storage tub in the living room and after the babies could sit up, we would put them in it with toys or balls, or even some water to splash in. You have to watch them carefully around water of course, but a few inches to splash in while they were right next to us kept them busy for hours.

    I like those jumpy things, the swings with the spring that you clip to a doorway. The kids all loved those, they would just jump up and down endlessly. I really wish they made them for big people, that would be a fun work out.

    Liked by 1 person

    • So essentials for travel = diapers and bottles. All else can be handled. That sounds a little minimalist, but I love it! Puts into perspective all the things I keep considering. 😛

      Doorway swings sound pretty cool too. I always wondered how kids can spend 2 hours in one and not want to come out, but I’m not going to question it if it keeps him/her busy bouncing within view as I get the cooking or laundry done.

      Re: adult bouncers. These are awesome: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oOW20H_1wzA Fairs in Spain and the UK have them all the time.


  2. All jumpy things are wonderful, swings, bouncers, vibrating seats for babes too small to sit up properly – I used the one I had every day.

    Never used a changing table. Ever. A towel on the bed is fine. The floor is fine. Babies can’t roll off the floor.

    Did both disposable and reusable. Note that reusable comes with extra laundry duties, and solid waste must be appropriately disposed of before washing. Also they’re not as “dry” feeling for baby. (This is not good in winter. It is excellent when potty training – cloth diaper wearers are out of the things much earlier as a rule).

    We bought the hexagonal plastic fencing to make play area/sleep areas for baby. This was excellent, especially when they’re mobile, you need to control that mobility. We have the leftover fencing around the cat area to keep the dog out of it, so it isn’t wasted. It was pricey but worth it. After the one-and-only header out of the crib at 10mo, I put the baby mattress on the floor inside the fenced area.

    Even if baby doesn’t end up with his/her own bedroom just yet, designate a place to store baby gear – there will be a lot, even if you’re minimalist.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bouncy things seem to be a popular recommendation, so I’ll have a good look round for some. 😀

      And noted on the dryness of reusable nappies. I will locate disposable inserts for them at first, seeing as s/he will be a Winter baby.

      Fencing is something else we’ve given some thought to. Sounds smart, but our room space is a bit awkwardly shaped for most of the ones we found. There are apparently accordion-style ones you can twist into different shapes from the corners, though, so I’m trying to find them. Not much luck so far.

      And yes to the baby gear space issue! We’ve already ran out of under the bed space and bottom bathroom shelf space and are onto the wardrobe. Trying to figure this out as I go. I think if we put another couple of shelves in the pantry for the animal stuff we can clear enough space for the buggy/pram. Moving other things around makes me realize how much “stuff” I have to begin with, though. For someone who lives so minimalistically, I DO seem to enjoy hoarding things too, “just in case”. Please try and tell me just WHEN I will use 200 balls of yarn and a crate of scented candles. Then again, some of it is stockpiling: we will get through all our dehumidifiers and packets of frozen chicken and boxes of tea, it’s just a matter of timing. I may need to rethink the stockpile sizes. 😛


      • Stockpiles can go in a shed outdoors. Baby things are indoors. Seriously, I think babies have their own rooms for the stuff. Oh, a stroller. You’ll need a stroller. Buy your baby carrier/snuggly after baby comes, word of experience. My gigantobaby was too much for me to carry in the sling for more than about a month…. I switched into a backpack the day he could hold his own head stable. Little babies are so immobile, you have a minute before you have to get that stuff, and you don’t know how big your babies will be until they come out.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Noted on the baby carrier. There will definitely be a bit of time between recovering and getting baby out and about where I can find one that fits. ^^

        Jon’s Nan offered to get the pram/stroller/buggy, so we’ll be looking a bit later in the year.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: 5 Useful Baby Products and 3 you don’t need. | To our bodies turn we then

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