Lesson 40: You don’t need everything you think you need

(Please remind me of this if I ever have a girl!)

There’s no doubt that most new parents get way more crap than they actually need for their new little bundle of joy. I know we did. Following is a list of things that, as it turns out, we really didn’t need:

  • Large & Extra-Large swaddlers – Unless you plan to swaddle your baby until she’s 3-years-old, or unless you have a really big baby, you don’t need anything over a size Medium.

  • 10 gazillion socket covers – Exactly how many sockets do you have in your house? And how many of them are actually being utilized? And how many are completely inaccessible to Baby? You don’t need as many as you think you do.
  • Dreft – This stuff is pretty expensive. It’s so expensive, in fact, that you’re not going to want to wash your own clothes with it. That means you’ll have to do extra loads of laundry (on top of the extra laundry that a new baby brings). Just use a free and clear version of your regular detergent.
  • Cute little burp cloths – Those scrawny little things didn’t even think about holding up to my son’s massive amounts of spit-up. I know all babies don’t spit-up nearly as much as he did, but why take a chance with those pansy little cloths? Birdseye cloth diapers make the best burp cloths, hands down.
  • Bottle sterilizer – For starters, unless you have an immune-compromised baby or a preemie, you don’t have to sterilize bottle nipples and pacifiers after every use. You really only have to sterilize them before the first use. Running them through the dishwasher is sufficient after that. But further, you can just place them in boiling water. It’s just as quick as a sterilizer. For sterilization information, see here.
  • Level 3 nipples – I kept J on a slow-flow nipple until his daycare teacher grabbed me and shook me one day, saying, Woman! Put that kid on a level 2! So maybe I’m not the best person to ask. But for starters, J was breastfed and I didn’t want a bottle to be too easy for him. I was afraid he would begin to prefer the bottle over the boob and Lord knows I didn’t want to pump when I didn’t have to. But also, he had acid reflux. So if he ate too fast, it all came right back up. We used level 1’s for the first 6 months and level 2’s until he quit bottles at 12-months. I returned all our Level 3’s because I never had a use for them.
  • Shopping cart cover – These are great in theory, but I’m way too lazy to use mine. When he was so small that I worried about every possible germ that could get him, he was too young to sit in a shopping cart anyway. By the time he was old enough to sit there, he’d had several immunizations and I just wasn’t as worried about it. We did use it a few times during cold and flu season, but mostly I just do a quick wipe down with a disposable Clorox wipe (if I even do that) and go about our business. A kid has to build an immune system at some point.
  • Activity mat – I saved our activity mat for Baby #2 and I’m sure I’ll use it. But realistically, there’s not a darn thing wrong with a blanket and some toys on the floor (Updated 9/20/16 to say, I actually sold my original large activity mat and then missed having one with my twins. I hated how big the original one was, but then I found this one and it’s perfect! It’s small, but both babies can still fit under it.).

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