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Question of the Week - Un-needed Items

When I was pregnant with the Pumpkin, I had a few wonderful baby showers. At those showers, we received all sorts of gifts and advice. Some gifts were because of the advice--as in, someone couldn't live without this item, so they get it for you. I do that. I love to give people The Miracle Blanket because it was how we got through the first few months with the Pumpkin. Actually, we received The Miracle Blanket as a gift from my sis, and we received raves from my sis and sis-in-law about how wonderful it was for them. It turns out it was wonderful for us, too.

But some gifts and assurances that we had to have a certain item, that it would be something we absolutely needed, just weren't true. In fact, when I give out gifts like The Miracle Blanket, I always say something like, "This was how we made it through. I hope it works for you!" I understand that not every baby even likes to be swaddled, so I know that it might not be the best gift for other people.

We saved a lot of the gifts that we didn't use or used only a couple times. I thought perhaps we would need those items with another baby. But some of those gifts, we still aren't using. In fact, I just don't even see the point of some of them! Maybe it's just not for us or our kids. Maybe all your gifts were perfect for you. But maybe not.

Question of the Week:
What baby item did you not need at all?

For us, it was:
- Mittens for infants--I just filed down my week old's nails. I'm not ready to use the clippers, but the emery boards work perfectly. And we don't have to deal with silly mittens.
- Sleeping gowns--So many people swore by these, but we just put our babies in onesies. It seems easier to us. Three snaps as opposed to pulling up all that material. Maybe if we had a fall or winter baby...
- Bibs for infants--I understand that many people love these because it saved the outfits from all the spit up. But so far, our kids don't have much spit up, so we don't need the 50 million we got.
- Socks and shoes for babies--Some of the sizes we have are for babies who aren't even crawling! I can understand socks for the wintertime. But shoes? I'm not putting the baby down, so there is really no need. And since we've had a spring baby and a summer baby, we don't need the socks either.

There were probably others, but those are what come to mind now.

How about you? What items did you not use at all?


paola said…
Although not a gift, I never used the baby bottles I bought with either of my kids. I was (am?) a SAHM so my kids had milk on tap so to speak. At around 6 months when I was considering to work a few hours I tried the bottle on my son and he would not have a bar of it. Didn't even try with my daughter. Something quite funny actully was when Zoe received her first dolly with accessories a few months ago, the baby bottle she kept on shoving in her dolly's nose. Noah did the same thing. They though it was a bottle of saline solution. It was actully quite cute, seeing them clean her nose with the saline drops.

I'm with you on all the things you mentioned. Add to the list baby bumpers, sheets and dummies (pacifiers).

p.s Wow, am so impressed you are blogging!!
Becoming Mommy said…
We never used:
Scented skin care products (super sensitive skinned baby)
Soy formula
Baby mittens (I used the nail clipper)
A lot of advice

But that’s because our kid is who he is, mostly (some advice IS absolutely insane and never should be used by ANYONE).
I actually liked the nightgowns, socks, and shoes. Shoes, granted, were all about looks so not necessary. But the socks and nighties kept a baby warm who Would. Not. Be Swaddled. And airconditioning keeps things at a temp that…well, it’s more comfy to be lightly covered.

Even now, he’ll sleep in his slippers rather than be tucked into a blanket. He’s getting more accepting though
@Paola - yeah, we didn't use the bottles much, either, although I do still give le Petit one of water and one of milk for the nanny when I'm at work -- not because he doesn't drink from a cup, but because it requires less surveillance to make sure he doesn't make a mess! Of course, here in France people look at me like I'm from another planet when they learn I'm breastfeeding past a year... drives me nuts... it is the same way in Italy? I love that both your kids don't know what a doll bottle is for, that is so cute!

Someone got us a swaddling blanket and le Petit would have nothing to do with it, alas. Other useless for us items include the car "bed," a special safety-approved infant bed with an integrated seat belt that other mothers swore they couldn't do without. Le Petit HATED the car for the first six months, so the car bed didn't make one bit of difference! Same thing with pacifiers.

I find that baby carriers are a matter of personal preference, and although I rave about my Moby and my Ergo to anyone who asks, I know everyone has a different opinion. I never got the hang of my ring sling.
Cloud said…
The cover to tie onto your crib under where your baby is sleeping, to soak up any leaks.

Pumpkin didn't leak much. And she didn't sleep in the crib until she was 6 months old, by which point there was no keeping her in one place while she was asleep.

The baby socks were great for day care. And the ones that looked like little mary janes and little tennis shoes? So cute!
Jan said…
No mittens for us either -- I (on my mom's advice) just nibbled off my kids' nails until they were old enough to hold still for the clippers.

For me it was definitely all the baby blankets. And everybody swears you can't have enough of them. I don't get what people are using them for. I'm a swaddler, but the baby blankets are generally not big enough once the baby weighs more than about 10 pounds.

Of course NOW that the kids are 3 and 5, they use all those blankets all the time for a variety of pretending-type play, so who knows?

I never got very excited about the various nursing pillows (the Boppy was the new greatest-thing-since-sliced-bread when I had my first). I'm very short and short-waisted (and busty), so I just held the baby in my lap and that seemed to work fine.

My MIL gave me a plug-in bottle warmer when my first one was a baby and I never used it, but my second baby has a much more delicate constitution (he liked his formula at a soothing 95ish degrees, thankyouverymuch) and I wound up using it for him.

Pacifiers. My kids never cared much about them, though I sort of pushed the Soothies ones on them when they were infants because they might not have thought they wanted it, but once they started sucking on it, they'd get to sleep faster and better.

Oh, and girl babies need MAYBE one frilly dress-up dress, not dozens.
Anonymous said…
Agreed on all of those except the socks. They were needed but they were awefully cute. :)
Anonymous said…
We couldn't live without bibs (spit-up KING, our son), swaddle blanket, the long gowns (we found them so much easier than onesies - we were so sad when he grew out of them. Having to SNAP at 3 Am was just too much for us). And I loved little robeez slippers for him, once he got a little bigger and it was chillier. Our exersaucer, which we never would have bought ourselves but was a great thing for DS.

Things that were useless for us:
- crib bumper. Never used it. Sits in the basement.
- Stuffed animals. DS (13 mo) now cuddles them a bit, but FTLOG he only needs one or two, not fifty.
- lots of baby clothes were awkward on him and hindered his movement as he was starting to crawl (6 months); as cute as overalls and baby jeans are, we found them impossible for him. And we got several adorable Carter's jumpers that just rode up on him when he was tiny and made strapping him in the car seat difficult.
-high chair. I wish we had gone straight to the fabulous Fisher Price Booster Seat. So. much. easier. to. clean. And can be brought with us!
Trannyhead said…
See - I loved the socks, but got tons of socks that were worthless because they got kicked off. I finally found the Trumpette brand socks which are my ultimate favorite baby item and the thing I now inflict upon everybody I know who is pregnant telling them, "These are the BEST THING EVER." Heh.
Trannyhead said…
PS - for me? The useless gift? It was all the blankets. What do people DO with all those blankets? I got about 40 of them and never used them at all. I used the Swaddle Me instead.
Karen said…
My useless item was a diaper pail. Seriously. While I'll admit that the Diaper Genie was still very brand new, disposable diapers certainly were not. I returned that sucker on the way home from the shower.

And those long gown things? I kept for three kids before finally realizing the wonderfulness of them. Who knew? Micah wore gowns to bed at night because there was no snapping and unsnapping of things in the wee smalls. It was very nice.
Cloud said…
Funny about all of you who didn't use the blankets. We used them to cover her in her stroller when we'd take her out for walks. But we mostly had flannel ones that my mom made. My mom made some out of really lightweight fabric for the summer, which were great for keeping the sun off of her. The thicker, store bought ones went down on the floor to give her a clean place to play. Let's just say that vacuuming wasn't a huge priority when she was little, so it was probably good that there was something in between her and our carpet. It was not very soft carpet, anyway.

And yeah, the Trumpette socks were the only brand that ever lasted the entire day at day care. I give them
Anonymous said…
Since we're talking socks - My favorite socks are Hanna Andersson. $$, but SO GOOD. They stay on, even with an intensely mobile baby/ toddler.

And blankets: yes, I agree! My mom made several lovely blankets, and then we got one more light fleece blanket that we liked, but tons more blankets poured in. It's not possible to use so many! Like the stuffed animals!

Oh, and one my favorite baby gifts were clothes for LATER in the baby's life. Thanks to thoughtful relatives, I had almost 100% of the clothes for my son until he was 12 months old. I bought very little for him (he's small so wore them for a long time).
caramama said…
Paola - That's too funny that Zoe and Noah didn't know what the bottles were for!

Becoming Mommy - I couldn't have lived without the slings, swing or swaddlers! But I also never used a lot of advice. Each kid and parent is just so different, often with very different needs.

Parisienne - Car bed? I vaguly remember hearing about those, but I just couldn't imagine. The Pumpkin HATED the car and car seat, so I doubt that would have been helpful for us. Oh, and I LOVE my ring sling (and my Moby)!

Cloud - I hadn't thought about the need for socks at daycare. Since the Pumpkin was at my mom's, we didn't need them. Also, we could not put the Pumpkin down at all for the first three months, and only occasionally there after, so that's probably part of why we didn't need them until she was maybe 4 months or older.

Jan - I thought that about the baby blankets at first, but then like Cloud, I ended up using a lot of them for playtime on the floor or covering the Pumpkin in the stroller on chilly days. Yet I still re-discovered a lot of blankets that we never used when getting ready for the Pookie!

cirquedubebe - The socks are cute. I'll give you that!

Anonymous - I might have to give the gowns a try with this one. What is up with all the freaking stuffed animals? She just doesn't need the eleventy billion she has (and keeps getting)!

Trannyhead - Trumpette brand, you say? I will look into those for when he gets a bit older.

Karen - I couldn't live happily without the diaper pails. They really cut down on the stink that escapes when you throw a diaper away. Maybe I'll discover the wonderfulness of the gowns this time. I'm willing to give them another try.
Anonymous said…
Wipe warmer. I never took it out of the box.
meggiemoo said…
- wipe warmer
- gowns (found that my DS hated having his feet confined like that)
- mittens
- socks (could never find a brand that would stay on)
- headband/barrette/other frilly thing for my infant DD's hair...I just have a thing about those. They seem so 80s to me.
- DS wouldn't be put down, a la Caramama's DD, so strollers were a new kind of torture. This after my sister bought me the latest, greatest ginormous stroller. We even had a back-up stroller. Ended up selling both and just used Bjorn/Ergo for everything.
- stuffed animals. Please don't give these as a baby gift!
- pacifiers. Neither would ever take one.
- scratchy, frilly things for my infant DD. I want my baby to wear the most comfortable clothing possible, and that just doesn't include lacy dresses right now. Sorry, MIL!
Trannyhead said…
YES! Trumpette. They sell them at Nordstrom, but I order mine online. They run small, but they make a baby AND toddler size. We went through both sizes before we had to start putting Robeez on Sumo because he outgrew all the Trumpette socks. I was so sad to see them go.

Behold the hawtness:

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