Baby Things You Don’t Need

by tinysneakers

There are all kinds of lists full of the things you MUST HAVE for your baby. Like expensive swaddle blankets your baby will Houdini out of no matter how cute the pattern and giraffe-shaped teethers from halfway across the globe.

Maybe one day I’ll write my version of that list for you, but today here’s the opposite of that. The things you don’t need. Actually, it’s only two things. Sure, there are a lot {A LOT} of other things I could put on this list but I’m going to cap it at two. And that’s because these are two things everybody says YOU HAVE TO HAVE. {You don’t.}


1. Changing table.

I don’t mean that you don’t need a piece of furniture sold with the label “Changing Table”. We all know you can use a dresser or nightstand or bookcase or whatever you find lying on the side of the street and repurpose with Pinterest-like magic.

I mean you don’t need a changing table period. The time span of when such a thing is useful is about .2 seconds. First they’re too little and you need to change them so often there’s no way you’re going to the changing table every time. When they’re itsy bitsy it’s easier to just use a changing pad or cloth and do the diaper swap wherever you are: the couch, the floor, the bed, the car.

changing table for baby

Then there’s the little window where everything’s hunky dory and you realize why you invested in the specific changing pad that was chemical free and organic and wouldn’t poison your baby because he was going to spend so much time lying on it.

And then the window closes, never to be opened again. As soon as they learn they can move while you change their diaper it’s all over. Back to diaper changes on the floor. Diaper changes that involve magic powers and 8 hands and still end up with you chasing a half dressed baby down the hall.

So yeah, changing table? Not necessary. Somewhere to put diapers & changing supplies? Yes. Somewhere to change the baby? No.

On a side note, changing tables are all wrong- they’re sideways. It’s so much easier to change a baby facing you than from the side.

On to number two.

2. Infant Car Seat.

Yes, I’m serious. We don’t have one. We have two of these:

First Years True Fit Car Seat

first years true fit convertible car seat

They’re awesome.

Infant car seats are great because you can move a sleeping baby out of the car and bring them inside without waking them up {supposedly}. But did you know that it’s recommended that babies spend as little time in those things as possible? As in, only while in a moving car. Not for sleeping inside or a jaunt through the grocery store or hanging out in the kitchen while you cook.

convertible carseat for infant

Infant carseats aren’t cheap. I know babies that have grown out of them by 6 months. You’ll have to buy the convertible ones eventually anyways, so why not just start with those?

People are absolutely perplexed when they find out we never used an infant car seat and wonder what we do.

Well, we use wraps and baby carriers when we’re out and about. I’m obsessed with my K’Tan baby wrap and Ergo carrier.

Our stroller {a City Mini} reclines flat making it perfectly suitable for an infant without neck control, no carseat adapter necessary. {See, one more thing you don’t have to buy.}

If he falls asleep in the car, I sit with him until he wakes up. Granted, if I had another child this wouldn’t be possible, but with just one it’s perfectly fine.

sleeping baby in carseat

The key is to choose a car seat that is approved for newborns- ours goes down to 5 pounds. Our 6 pound newborn fit perfectly snug in our convertible carseat with a newborn insert right from the start.

Now I’m not saying having an infant seat wouldn’t be nice, but if you’re looking to save some dough, it’s an option to consider.

The husband and I each have a convertible car seat in our car. It’s expensive to buy two, but we’d have to do that eventually anyways.

baby in car seat

So there you go. Two things you can cross off your list.

What common baby items do you find unnecessary? I’ll go ahead and add wipe warmer to my list. Winking smile

{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Melinda October 19, 2012 at 11:32 am

I have more of a question then a comment. My son hated his infant carrier and by 5 months I was looking at buying a convertible car seat. I would of loved not having an infant car seat altogether, but in order to leave the hospital we had to have one. How did you get away with not having one to start with?


tinysneakers October 21, 2012 at 6:47 pm

We told the hospital we had a convertible and it was installed in the car- they checked when we were discharged to make sure we really had it. 😉


Erika October 19, 2012 at 11:53 am

We don’t have a “changing table” but we have have a pak’n’play with one on it and we have used that from the first day we brought him home – and still do 14 months later. Probably not necessary but it is used. However, that is the only thing the pak’n’play gets used for. I think he’s actually been in it 5 or so times.

Also not needed:
nursing covers
nursery bedding sets
diaper pail


Katie October 19, 2012 at 12:31 pm

I really liked our changing table. It was the perfect height, and it also had a bathtub in it, so I could wheel it into the bathroom. My neck is messed up and causes migraines, so it was nice that changing diapers and giving baths didn’t aggravate my neck. We still use it at 7 months, even though there’s a lot more wrestling involved, and the bath tub part is no longer in use.

As for the infant seat, the only time I disagree is when you go to restaurants. I tried to baby-wear while eating, but I’m so clumsy, it invariably ended up with food all over the baby and me. We used our k’tan carrier the rest of the time–grocery shopping or long walks. (We didn’t use a stroller until she was almost 3 months old, and we had a normal umbrella stroller.) She’d sit in the infant seat though and look around, and by 4 months, she could hold a bottle while we’d have dinner and be happy as a pig in mud. We’ll probably do convertible seats for both cars next time, but I’m going to hang on to our infant seat (which will be very expired by the time we have another one) for restaurants.


tinysneakers October 21, 2012 at 6:48 pm

That sounds so convenient for baths- they were so tricky at first!

I hear ya on the restaurant thing- that part was a little awkward. Going to the doctor was a little awkward too, especially when he was asleep on my chest when it was time for me to get examined…I forgot about that until just now. 😉


Sarah October 19, 2012 at 12:54 pm

Thanks so much for this information! I definitely want to not invest in things I most likely don’t need 🙂


Vicky (little baby, big city) October 19, 2012 at 9:24 pm

I Definitely agree with the infant car seat. We had one and it was great and all for the 4 months he fit in it…. Should have saved our money on that one! We got the MamaRoo as a gift, well it sucked and now it’s an expensive cat bed. An infant bath tub, we used the one that fits in the sink a lot but then we got the Boon one that goes in your tub, waste of money. There are soooo many things you don’t need for babies, but being a first time mom how was I to know!


Samantha October 21, 2012 at 12:41 am

Agree on the changing table!! They are cute but def not a necessity! Grace was born small so we had to have an infant carrier and our hospital required it!! That’s so great you didn’t need one though!!
I would add diaper genie, wipe warmer, humph what else!?


tinysneakers October 21, 2012 at 6:52 pm

Our hospital said they required it too, but ended up giving us the “ok” on our convertible since it was certified for 5 pounds. We cut it close since he was born at 6 pounds! 🙂


Miz October 22, 2012 at 6:35 am

Im sooo with you on the wipe warmer and will add in DIAPER GENIE 🙂


Coco October 22, 2012 at 7:39 am

My kids arefull-grown, but we used both our changing table and our infant car seats! Having a large wipable area to change my son was essential since he was “fountain boy” whenever the diaper came off. 😉


Laura @ Mommy Run Fast October 22, 2012 at 10:11 am

Great tips! We did the same thing for a changing table, and it worked out great. A convertible car seat is also smart. Someone bought us an infant one, but it had a weight limit of up to 32 pounds so it lasted much longer than the typical infant seat does!


Pavement Runner October 22, 2012 at 6:48 pm

Very interesting. We used both and found a need for them. But I see the points you are making. Thanks for the share.

We also have a city mini and LOVE IT.


Marci October 22, 2012 at 8:58 pm

no one mentioned the high chair! We have one, but my parents have a little chair with tray that wraps around a table’s chair. no extra room.


susan October 29, 2012 at 7:00 pm

Haha, this is sooo different for every family, but I always love reading these kind of lists! We love having a high chair, because for us it’s important family time to eat together. I know others don’t need one, because their babies aren’t too good eaters or they have to trick them into eating during playtime on the floor (my neighbor has to do this). But I agree, our wooden one takes up a lot of space, especially since we live in a condo.
I also agree on the infant car seat – we don’t have a car and our son travels really well in his stroller or a carrier on public transit, but we had to have one to leave the hospital.
But I definitely think a changing table (or dresser+changing pad) was necessary for us, because it prevented me from having to hunch over on a bed/sofa/floor and therefore saved my lower back.
I could add flushable cloth diaper liners to the list BEFORE introducing solids. Because breastfed baby poop is water soluble and comes out in the wash, the liners we used in the beginning were a waste of paper and money for us. Not sure how formula poop would be affected though… AND after introducing solids they were suddenly very useful! 😉


Jane October 23, 2012 at 11:10 am

We love our changing pad — it’s on top of the dresser and sits right next to all the supplies. At 5 months, our son is wiggle worm, but we sing or give him a toy while changing, and he’s happy as a clam. He really loves to be clean!

I would second the wipe warmer and add the diaper genie (never had one, never needed one since we use cloth diapers). Also, a bottle warmer. Our nanny just uses a deep salad bowl and warm water.


Caroline @ crackers & carrots October 23, 2012 at 8:23 pm

This is so smart! We too opted for the pad on top of a dresser as our changing table, but I totally didn’t even know that you could skip the infant car seat and go straight to a convertible. I didn’t even know they existed. It looks much more comfortable than the infant car seat too!


Liz @ The Lemon Bowl October 29, 2012 at 10:07 am

Our diaper table was a hand me down but on the lower level of our house we pretty much just use the top of our dryer – haha. Great article!


Amy May 19, 2016 at 6:48 pm

I totally agree. Changing table is overrated when most people end up changing their baby on the floor of on a receiving blanket in between Bravo binge watching.


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