I have 8 friends and family members who are due to have a baby this summer. While a handful of them will be second time moms, the majority are first time moms and this post is for them. When I was pregnant with Calvin, it was the slow season at the hotel, so I had an enormous amount of time to fill, and how did I do it? Why, I read mommy blogs of course! Most of the time I laughed at them and thought “Why do they think they need that?” I made it an informal goal of mine to get away with as little as possible.
So here is my list of baby items that our family (somehow) lives without. Hopefully it is a nice break from whatever else all you expecting ladies are reading.
(disclaimer: I realize that everybody is different, so while some of these things are items I do not need, I fully realize that your baby and family work differently and may need them)
A specially shaped pillow – You know, they look like question marks or wonky noodles and run you about $70. I simply used a single pillow I already had and stuffed it between my knees. Tim never complained about losing bed space, and I was as comfy as a pregnant lady can be.
All those books – The only book I read during pregnancy was a comedic one that my brother gave to Tim, from a dad’s perspective. Some people like to be informed about everything, and I do too, but I prefer relying on the experiences of friends and family, and then if I still have a question, I go to sites like Baby Center or What To Expect. Rarely have I learned something useful from them though. When you have a baby, you will be surprised at how much you know how to do simply by instinct.
At the Hospital
A fresh pedicure – I am not a “must be pampered” kind of girl. I have had a real pedicure twice in my life, many moons ago, not even for my wedding. One of my labour nurses actually asked me why I didn’t have one. I thought it was funny, if not a little rude. Yes, maybe I would have liked it if I shaved my legs, but whatever. Those nurses and doctors see a lot worse than hairy legs and naked toe nails. Save your money, you will survive.
A special hospital gown – now this is probably one of the most ridiculous things you can buy. Many women purchase their own special, pretty hospital gown for labour. Why?! The hospital provides one! Who are you trying to look pretty for?
enough outfits – the best thing to remember is that the hospital provides everything you need postpartum. That includes clothing for your baby. No need to pack several suitcases. Tim and I went in with my diaper bag and a backpack.
your own underwear and hygienic items – I found the underwear the hospital provided to be the most comfortable. They are super thin and stretchy so it doesn’t dig in to any uncomfortable or swollen areas. Also, the pads they provide work just fine. Yes, they are a little bulky, but they are free!
Now That Baby is Here
the best of everything – many moms spend hundreds and thousands of dollars on the best car seats, the best strollers, the best furniture…Don’t go overboard just because you want the best for your baby. Your budget is also important, so if you can’t afford the highest end car seat, just remind yourself that they wouldn’t sell a less expensive car seat if it wasn’t safe.
nursing pillow – I just used a regular pillow from on my couch, or if I was in bed, I used Tim’s pillow. You already have it, it is used for other purposes, and it matches your decor!
nursing cover – a blanket does the same trick. You can tuck the corner between your shoulder and couch/chair or under your bra strap to secure it. If you are still worried about people seeing, it’s their problem that they are looking.
sound machines, mobiles and other distractions – maybe we were blessed with a baby who fell asleep easily, but maybe he fell asleep easily because he never had these things to learn to rely on. I don’t know which is the case, but I do know that we didn’t need these things.
the space stealers – I don’t believe it is necessary to have a play gym, an exersaucer, a swinging/vibrating chair, and all those other brightly coloured, noisy, space hoggers. I had just a swinging chair. It was gifted to me, and I feel like I would have gotten by even if I didn’t have that. Other than that, Calvin was happy on the floor with a few toys to swat at.
special crib sheet sets – the crib does not need a skirt or a fancy blanket and matching curtains.
wipe warmer – pure luxury.
Sophie the Giraffe – okay, this is one item that I do, in fact have, and I like that I have it, however my baby is not attached to it. I think this is a classic case of good marketing. It is a great toy that is fun to hold and squeaks very easily, making a baby happy, but it’s the parent who always gives it to the child and says “it’s his favourite!”, in turn making the child dependent on it. Calvin doesn’t have a favourite anything, except he prefers remote controls to real toys.
coffee every morning or die!! – now this one is very individual. I like a good coffee now and again, but I do not require it to be awake in the morning. Starbucks to me is a treat, not a necessity (well not Starbucks because I don’t like their coffee, but you get the point). I also do not require 8 hours of sleep at night to function during the day, so maybe in that way, I was born to be a mom.
yoga pants – yes, there may be a day here or there where I do not change out of my pj’s if I don’t leave the house, but I do not own sweats and a t-shirt covered in spit up, Lulus of any kind, or whatever you picture in your mind when you think “mom uniform”. Does it really require less effort to put on a pair of stretchy pants than it does to put on a pair of jeans?
I believe that concludes the list for now. If you were offended by anything I said, please remember that this is what works for me and my family. I like being different than other people, so it’s very much okay that you are not the same as me! You may also have to know my personality quite well to really understand everything I say, but maybe what I say helps you understand my personality.
Over all, I didn’t want to spend uber amounts of money just because everybody said I needed to have this and required that. So I didn’t. Between gifts and gift cards, the only things we spent money on was my diaper bag, cloth diapers, a dresser and a few clothes. Budget is a very important tool in our family, and I encourage all new parents to really think about what you can afford and what you can live without.
I hope this has been helpful for you, or at least made you laugh and wonder what kind of crazy person I am.
Are there items you have for your children that you have learned you don’t actually need? Did you encounter a situation where you needed something you didn’t have?
I recently wrote about what baby items I do have. Check it out!