Mama Life, Pregnancy & Birth

Minimalist’s Guide to What You Don’t Need for Baby

Baby yawning.

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A few days ago, I posted the 9 bare minimum baby essential list! Today I’m covering the flip side, what you don’t need for baby.

I know all too well how tempting it is when you first find out you’re pregnant to desire every single item for baby. They’re SO cute!

But realistically, you might not have money or space. Or maybe you just don’t want the mental headache from all the clutter. I get it.

That’s why I’m here to help you sort through the information out there and tell you what you don’t need for your newborn. The items on this list are ones that we only used once or twice, and some none at all!

Two babies eat from bottles.

Bottle warmer & Bottle drying rack

The idea behind this is that the bottles should be cleaned and dried separate from all your other dishes. Wiping with a towel can spread germs. Your regular drying rack to air dry the bottles is just fine. Just sanitize your bottles in boiling water every now and again!

As for the warmer… you can’t just use warm water like a double boiler? It works great, and especially in the beginning, they don’t drink that much and it doesn’t take too long to warm up! It’s just one more thing.

Crib bumpers

Crib bumpers can be dangerous.

Crib bumpers are designed to keep little legs and arms from getting caught up or stuck between the bars of a crib. They’re also cute. But they can be dangerous. Cribs increase the risk of suffocation if a child gets caught between the mattress and the bumper. I know they look cute, but for the sake of safety, this is an item to say, “Pass!”


Pink baby hat.

Both of my boys absolutely hated hats. It may be useful to have one or two, especially if your baby is born in fall, winter, or early spring. But many baby buntings have hoods, and there are ways to swaddle baby to stay warm on his or her head as well. I bought a few hats for my first son, and they were a waste of money!

A lot of newborn-sized clothes

What you don't need for baby:

Depending on how big your baby is when he or she is born, they may not even wear newborn sized clothes. Both M and D wore Newborn sized clothing for about 3 weeks before we switched to 0-3 months. They’ll switch around 9 or 10 pounds, so if you’re projected to have a big baby, you might want to go right into 0-3 months sizes anyway!

Baby tub, wash cloths, and towels

Baby in bucket.

I have to be honest. With both of my sons, I washed them by bringing them into a bath with me. My parents bought us a newborn tub and we used it exactly once. Plus, skin to skin contact is incredibly beneficial for baby in the early months. So pass on the extra item and opt instead for some extra cuddles with baby!

And as long as your towels are soft enough, baby won’t mind being dried in your towel or another adult towel. If that doesn’t convince you, consider this: many items we buy for purely aesthetic value or impressing friends and family… but how many of your friends and family see your baby at bathtime anyway?

A sit and push walker

It’s another dangerous one, folks, AND it can delay walking. The American Academy of Pediatrics says no, and they’re even banned in Canada!

Baby trying to walk.

Changing table

Changing table.

I didn’t use a changing station. I typically have a stash of diapers in various places around the house (or in the diaper bag). It’s completely unnecessary, and oftentimes it’s more of a hassle to cart the child to the changing table. Save yourself the trouble and the money.


What you don't need for baby: baby shoes

Aside from one cute pair for pictures, shoes are totally ridiculous for a creature that can’t walk! Don’t get me started on baby hard-soled tennis shoes!


Guys, we got SO many baby blankets from friends, family… hand me downs, crocheted, knitted, sewn, bought… you name it! And what did we do with most of them?

We gifted the nicer ones and kept the sentimental ones, but most ended up in our “Goodwill Pile” when decluttering season rolled around.


What kinds of things did you buy and not use? Would you add to this list?

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