Baby Junk

What is it about having a baby that gives one the overwhelming desire to buy things that they really probably don’t need? This is my third one; you’d think by now that I wouldn’t be sucked into it anymore. At the start of this pregnancy I was all set, though, to get a new infant car seat (since now the fancy ones hold up to 30 lbs of baby) and a double stroller. After a week of looking at all of the seats we already owned (two Britax convertibles and a another brand of booster with a removable five-point harness) and their expiration dates (7 years from manufacture due to plastic corrosion), I realized that the most cost efficient option was to buy a lap booster for $25 for my older girl, move the younger daughter into the booster with the five-point harness, and use the last year of one of the Britax’s for the newborn. (The other Britax is already expired.) So I’ll spend my big bucks on a new car seat when the new baby hits one-year and moves to forward-facing, preferably one that holds up to age 8 so I won’t have to buy anymore car seats.

I also gave up on the double stroller. Our old beat up big stroller and our little umbrella will just have to do. My two-year-old usually prefers walking anyway, and she is pretty good at taking direction. If I have a hard time wrangling her and her big sister in addition to a single stroller, I may revisit the double stroller idea. I figure I also have my Maya wrap to carry the new baby in.

The latest thing I’ve been drooling over is a new diaper bag. I’ve been thinking less in terms of what I need to lug around for the new baby and more about what I need to lug around for all three kids. I really like the look of the Urban Backpack at One Step Ahead, but I haven’t been willing to pay $80 plus tax and shipping for a diaper bag. I was considering a different diaper bag at my local Carter’s Outlet for $50. But I really wanted one that I thought would hold two water bottles or two bottles with straws without spilling water all over everything. Finally, I realized that I’m probably best using a cheap black backpack I bought for traveling. It holds two water bottles in netting outside the bag and has tons of little pockets and pouches for storing little items. I bought a portable changing pad to throw in there. I’ll probably get another free bag in the hospital from one of the formula companies anyways.

Then I started thinking about the baby items I had bought in the past that I would skip if I could go back in time.

1. The netting to go over the pack ‘n’ play bassinet: it never discouraged the crazy cat we used to have from jumping in the bassinet.

2. The glider rocker: It gets progressively harder to nurse your baby in it as your baby gets bigger thanks to the high and hard arm rests. I should have shelled out the money for a real rocker/recliner, and maybe that crazy cat wouldn’t have used the cushions as a scratching post. Plus glider rockers really collect dust underneath.

3. Any sleepers that do not have snaps on the inside of both legs: If there are only snaps on one leg than you basically have to take the entire sleeper off to change a diaper or risk breaking your baby’s leg that is trapped in the snapless side.

4. Ear thermometer: The fancy one we bought with our first child required two hands to operate. You had to stick the thermometer in the ear with one hand and pull on the child’s ear lobe with the other. And with your imaginary octopus arms you had to keep the baby completely still during this uncomfortable experience in order to get a reading. Now I just do the thermometer under the arm.

Then there are the items that I was never tempted to buy like a diaper wipes warmer or tennis shoes for a child under the age of 1. (In fact, I don’t buy any hard-soled shoes until my little ones insist on walking outside all of the time.) Then there are the items that seem like a cool idea but are really unnecessary or can be made less expensively at home (like knee pads for crawling babies). I am still undecided on the nasal clear. It is either complete genius or completely ridiculous.

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