Useless Infant Gifts – What NOT to Buy Baby

We all know babies need diapers, wipes, cribs with coordinated sheets, high-heeled crib shoes, and specially-made burp cloths... Now wait a minute. Stop and think. Do babies really need all those products overflowing the shelves at big name stores? Baby marketers say yes but parents say no way. Here are some infant gifts you do not need to buy, no matter what the business people tell you. Keep in mind uselessness is a matter of personal preference – some of these products may actually work for you, but for many parents, they fail hands-down.

Baby Shoes

As cute as they may be, infant shoes are unnecessary until you baby starts walking – about a year or more from birth. Baby shoes spend more time lost and separated than they do on baby’s feet. Save yourself the endless struggle to find that one lost shoe. Baby socks are a much more practical gift, as they will keep baby’s feet warm.

Too Many Newborn-Sized Clothes

Babies grow – quickly. It’s nice to have clothes to fit a day-old baby, but limit the newborn-sized clothes to two or three comfortable outfits. They’ll fit into three to six months clothing before you know it. Newborns need one-piece pajamas and onesies. It’s acceptable – and encouraged – for newborns to spend weeks in their pajamas.

Dress-Up Outfits

Putting your newborn in a three-piece outfit or a fancy dress will be more of a struggle than a precious moment. Ditch the adult clothes – baby will have plenty of time to romp around in sweaters and button up shirts – and opt for button-up pajamas and onesies. Not only will your baby be more comfortable, you won’t waste time pulling pants on and off for every diaper change.

Pre-Folded Swaddling Blankets

Learning to swaddle a baby isn’t rocket science. Once you do it a few times, you’ll never forget it. Pre-folded or “ready-made” swaddle blankets trick you into thinking they’ll save you time and effort. But your baby will only outgrow them and they’ll be useless. Don’t buy it. Instead, buy – or make – lightweight square blankets for swaddling. You can use them as regular blankets when your baby is past the swaddling stage.

Too Many Stuffed Animals

Stuffed animals are cute, but are they really practical for a newborn? If you must give that fluffy teddy bear with button eyes as an infant gift, make sure you limit yourself and buy only one stuffed animal. New parents have no use for an overflowing bin of fuzzy bears that won’t be touched until their baby becomes a toddler. A better choice is a Womb Bear that comforts babies with the sound of a heartbeat, or other stuffed animals that have eyes that are not choking hazards.

Tummy Time Mats

That $20 tummy time mat you see at the store is actually a glorified blanket. Make your own tummy time mat instead – place a blanket on the floor, scatter some toys around baby, and place a small pillow under him or her for extra support.

Don’t let the baby marketing industry reel you in – babies don’t require many products. Choose wisely and instead of inundating mom with a lot of cheap useless goods, spend your money on a few high-quality necessities.