Here’s what happens to most of us:
You get pregnant and become parents. Somewhere in between pregnancy and newborn life, you dive into the world of baby gear. You might make a baby registry, filled with lots and lots of products you read about as newborn as “essentials”. Then, you share your registry out to the world and the gifts start showing up at your door like magic. Then your house is full of baby crap.
I remember thinking, wow, it’s crazy how many items a new baby needs to survive. And then we had our new baby and so much of that crap wasn’t even close to essential. But we wanted to be prepared. We wanted to be good parents. We wanted Bridger to have all the right baby things.
The baby industry preys on first time, sleep-deprived parents who don’t want to be prepared for their baby’s arrival.
If you are a parent already, you know exactly what I am talking about. I am sure there are a plethora of baby items you rarely or barely used, and could have easily lived without.
The reality is, a baby needs some clothes to wear, (which can easily be borrowed or purchased second hand since babies wear them for a few weeks before growing out of them), something to sleep in, like a few swaddle or sleep sacks, something to sleep on, like a bassinet or crib (or your bed following safe sleep guidelines for co-sleeping), a baby carrier to be worn around the house or taken on walks, a car seat to take baby to the many doctor appointments in those early months, a stroller of some kind that allows for infants to use it, and if you ever want someone else to feed your baby for you (ie. your partner, babysitter, mother in law, etc.) then you’ll need to introduce a bottle relatively early on in the newborn phase.
So, really the baby needs the basics.
But the baby industry tells us otherwise. And you’re not alone if you’ve already fallen into this trap. The baby care products market is projected to be worth approximately 88.72 billion U.S dollars (from http://www.Statista.com). It’s important to remember that babies being born is MAJOR moneymaker. Why else would there be so many baby companies competing for your attention, claiming their product will help your baby sleep, hit their milestones, and look cool while doing it!
Most babies just want to be held in those early months. Literally, Bridger never let us put him down, and still doesn’t, and guess what? That’s natural and normal and developmentally appropriate. Baby instincts keep them close to their mother to keep them alive. These products that mimic a mothers arms are convenient for sure, but they aren’t essential.
Also, there are so many used baby items in this world. If you aren’t interested in buying everything new, check out baby facebook groups for swapping items. Facebook marketplace, Craigslist. the Nextdoor app, or your local thrift store. We’ve benefitted from other passing on their baby products and have passed ours along when we have finished with it. It’s less wasteful and financially responsible to not purchase these items new.