Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Is That Necessary?

When Tim and I registered for baby items, we used multiple sites to put together a list of the necessities--pajamas, diapers, onesies, car seats, strollers...the list goes on. But after the shower, when we started looking at the stuff we needed to buy, our list miraculously got shorter! There are a few things, though, that I would like to ask veteran Moms if I really need.

Crib Mobile
If you have yet to figure it out, I'll let you in on a little secret. I'm a bit of decor junkie. I want everything to look a certain way and not be overly babyish for the nursery. Crib mobiles are the biggest culprit of babyish things. I have yet to find one that clips on the crib that I like. I would really prefer one that hangs from the ceiling if I get one at all (much like the one there to the left from Liv's Lullaby Shop). Lately, every time I see one I like, the price tag blows my mind, and I instantly think, "I could definitely make that myself for much less."

Do I really even need it though? And if the answer is yes, do I need two of them?

Baby Towels
We received some baby washcloths as shower gifts, so we bought a couple of hooded towels to finish the set. But how necessary are these little cute towels? Would a cotton adult towel not serve the same purpose? Plus, I could really swaddle a naked little one in an adult towel while a baby towel would just loosely be wrapped around her.

Baby Swings
We didn't register for any. We haven't even thought about purchasing any. My nephew has two that he's outgrown. I also have a couple of friends who no longer use theirs, so maybe we'll give them a try that way. We opted for bouncers instead. They're smaller, more portable, and would seem to do sort of the same job. I understand that some babies absolutely love swings, but the idea of having two of those in the house makes my clutter alarm go off big time. Is that selfish?

Crib Bumpers
This is a controversial topic. There are two camps on the crib bumper topic. Some parents swear by them because they don't want their little ones banging their heads against the crib rails or getting little limbs stuck between the bars. Some parents think they're extremely dangerous and can lead to SIDS because babies can roll over into them and suffocate. My argument is much simpler. Crib bumpers costs a whole lot of money. We bought our crib sheets and skirts from Carousel Designs. The sheets were $16 a piece, the skirts were $49 a piece. The bumpers were $69. Granted, that's only $20 more than the skirt, but remember--I'm buying two of each. Saving myself $140 was nice. Also, Carousel's prices are very good; most bumpers start at $100. If it turns out these girls like to roll and kick a lot and need some cushioning, I will lay down the money for the bumpers, but right now, the cribs are bumper free.

Diaper Pail
After looking at the pros and cons of so many diaper pails, I decided to just buy a nice trash can. The trash can ended up costing $65, which is more than the leading contender in diaper pails for me (the $39 Diaper Dekor). Alas, the Dekor, just like the Diaper Genie and the new Munkins Arm & Hammer pail (the runner up on my list), requires special cartridges. I decided, in the long run, paying a little more for a simple trash can and these lovely bags would be cheaper. On top of all that, the trash can's dimensions work for the room and its stainless steel exterior is nice to look at.

Convertible High Chairs
This decision has pretty much been made, but I wanted to share it anyway.

I looked at A LOT of high chairs. I wanted one that would grow with my girls, store easily and be easy to clean. First was the the Chicco Hero Highchair. It met all my criteria, so I didn't mind the $120 price tag. Next was the Graco Blossom 4-in-1. It was a little more versatile than the Chicco (it has a toddler seat and a booster!), so I didn't mind the $180 price tag so much. I even checked out a bunch of hook on seats to save room. (These were quickly nixed since so many parents complained about them ruining tables or not detaching at restaurants.)

Finally, I realized that saving some money now might be better than investing in their feeding ritual futures. Tim and I decided to register for two Ikea ANTILOP chairs. With the tray, they are $25. That's $50 for two easy to clean, easy to move, easy to set up high chairs. No, they don't recline or turn into booster seats, but they're durable and inexpensive and perfect for what we need. I would like to thank Pam for recommending these little gems. Thank you, Pam!

So these are the items I'm either up in the air about or just plain said no to. What do you think? What did you do? Will I change my mind in the future? Are there other items that should be included?

I know that all babies and parents are different, but this is a forum for advice and discussion, so please, pass on the advise and discuss!


  1. Loved this! As for the mobile, we wasted $50. Katie used it for a month, and loved her fisher price rainforest crib toy Sooooo much better, but like you said all babies are different. This was our experience though. ~Shannon m.

  2. Here are my opinions:

    My kids liked their mobile, but we put it over their diaper changing table. It helped them not to squirm. Or make your own with interchangeable pictures - like colors when they're young and photos when they're a bit older.

    My kids still like using the baby towels, but they're definitely not necessary.

    Swings depend on the child. Some people can't get by without a swing. My kids hated them. I think the bouncers are a good idea, and when they get a little bit older, I looove the Exersaucer.

    Crib bumpers - eh...They're mostly there to look pretty.

    Our method for disposables is to put diapers with #1 in the regular trash and diapers with #2 in a plastic bag and toss it out the back door. Then eventually someone gathers the bags and puts them in the outdoor trash can. This, by the way, is what you do with a diaper when you're at a childless friend's house...

    Love the high chair. Easy to clean is key!

  3. Crib bumpers are definitely NOT necessary. It is actually recommended that you not use them due to the added risk of sids and what not.

    As for the other things it really all depends on you and the kids. Alexandra didn't really get into her mobile until she was too big to have one on her crib, and the only reason she wanted to play with it is because of the stuffed animals that were on it.

    The towels that we have that she uses were adult towels that my grandmother made into hooded towels. The baby hooded towels you can buy are small and, and least in Alex's case, she outgrew those before she was one.

    We had to use a swing the first few months so that she could take her naps during the day. The only problem we had was breaking her of the habit of always rocking to sleep during nap time, but that really wasn't too difficult.

    We used our diaper pail as long as we were always changing her upstairs in our room or hers, and for the first few months when EVERY diaper is also a poopy diaper. Now we just change her wherever and toss those diapers in the trash; the stinkier ones going into the kitchen trash since it gets emptied everyday.

    As for highchairs that completely up to you. We were given a standard one with a removable clothe seat. Honestly, I hated the thing because they are such messy eaters that the seat cover had to be washed after EVERY feeding.

  4. Okay...so, now that the girls are a year old, has your opinion of any of these things changed?

  5. Still don't believe traditional bumpers are necessary. We got breathable ones so the girls would keep their limbs inside, but now they're only against the wall to (supposedly) keep pacis inside.

    The swings were helpful, so yes, those are good, but I still wouldn't spend tons of money on them.

    Still no need for a crib mobile or convertible high chairs. The space saver chairs are great for us.

    And a diaper pail? Please. Our trash can works really well, costs less, and I'll be able to keep using it when the girls are out of diapers. The key is to get a well-sealed trash can. Simple Human: $70.

  6. i absolutely couldnt live with out thee swing. he almost outgrown it now at 5 months and without it we wil b doomed. he wakes up without it, many times per night, and screams bloody murder in the crib. if i hadnt hav had the swing idk wat i wouldve done. it is indespensibe and the one thing i suggest to every one. the bouncer was a waste of money. it doesnt move on its own so its seless to use, other than place to put him for 5 secs. or to watch tv, which a baby shouldnt really b doing anyways.