Inessential Baby Items That Are Worth The Splurge

When I wrote about inessential baby items a few weeks ago, I intentionally limited the number of items I mentioned. The main reason for this is that the post would have been really, really long if I would have been inclusive. Another reason is that there are a number of inessential baby items that I think are worth the splurge.

You can forgo a lot of baby items in order to save space and money. However, there are a few inessential items that are totally worth the splurge.

Though I am a very frugal and practical person, I wouldn’t hesitate to purchase the following inessential items again. Some of the following links are affiliate links (click here to read about what this means).

Splurge-worthy baby gear

  • Breastfeeding pillow. Women have been successfully breastfeeding their young without breastfeeding pillows since the beginning of time. With this being said, I’m so glad I had access to a nursing pillow! I had a lot of trouble positioning and supporting my first baby while she nursed, so having a breastfeeding pillow made a huge difference! We used it constantly. I had a Boppy and it got the job done. However, I’ve also used a My Breast Friend pillow and thought it was superior to the Boppy, so I will be purchasing one of these for our new baby.

  • White noise machine. Many parents want to avoid the use of white noise to help baby sleep so he or she gets used to sleeping with a wide variety of ambient noises. It’s great if this works for you, but it didn’t for us! We found ourselves with an infant who had a very tough time staying asleep and our noisy neighborhood complicated the situation. We lived in a townhouse for the first several months of my first baby’s life. Our neighbors, whose front porch was only a few feet from her bedroom window, were very loud and we had police cars whizzing by at all hours of the day and night because a police station was located at the end of our block. A simple white noise machine helped even out the sounds our daughter heard so they weren’t continuously disturbing her sleep.

  • Multiple baby carriers. As I noted in my earlier post, we skipped the infant car seat in favor of a convertible car seat that was sized appropriately for an infant. This meant that we didn’t have an infant carrier to transport my daughter when we were out and about. This wasn’t an issue because we preferred carrying her (or “wearing” her, as many say) in a carrier. We also often used carriers around the house in order to have our hands free to get some work done. We benefited from having a few different carriers to choose from. If you plan to babywear, then you will likely appreciate the variety, too. I loved using a Moby Wrap when my daughter was a newborn and a Mo+m soft-structured carrier as she got older (she still loves riding in this at 17 months of age). My husband has a Kiddy Heartbeat carrier which he loves. I’d provide a link for this, but I’ve not seen them for sale in the U.S. (ours was purchased for us by friends who were living in England).

  • Absorbent bibs. If your baby doesn’t spit up or drool a lot, then you may not need that many bibs. However, if your baby spits up and drools all of the time like our first little one did, then do yourself a favor and pay a little more in order to get some really absorbent bibs. We initially purchased simple bibs in value packs in order to get many bibs at an affordable price. Unfortunately, these didn’t absorb much and the “waterproof backing” was of little help. We soaked through so many a day that I was having to do laundry too frequently. This time around, we are purchasing more of the pricier bibs that worked!

  • Nursing tank tops. I wore nursing tank tops almost every day for over a year after the birth of my first baby. I certainly could have made it without them, but they made it so easy to nurse in public! When I’d lift my shirt to nurse my little one, my back and tummy weren’t exposed because the nursing tank covered them. My tank tops are worn out after so much use that new nursing tanks are at the top of my list of things I need to get before we welcome this new baby.

  • Spacious, easy-to-carry diaper bag. The diaper bag became my constant companion when I became a mom. I began with an Eddie Bauer bag. It seemed like a good idea because it had a lot of storage compartments and I figured my husband would feel comfortable carrying it. I quickly learned that this didn’t meet our needs. The bag itself was somewhat heavy, so it became very weighty once loaded with supplies. Many of the supplies didn’t fit well in the compartments and I had a difficult time keeping so much weight up on one shoulder while also carrying my baby and anything else we had with us (grocery sacks, an umbrella, etc.). I decided to try a backpack instead—a generic backpack, not a diaper bag designed to be carried as a backpack—and found that this was much easier to carry and provided lots of storage space. You may or may not prefer a backpack, but be sure to purchase a bag that is lightweight, has comfortable straps, and is able to store the supplies you prefer to have on hand.

  • Portable changing pad. You never know what has been on the surfaces of changing tables out in public locations. Moreover, you never know when you will be in a public location where there is no changing table. Subsequently, a portable changing pad is such a nice accessory to have. I love this waterproof, quilted one because it rolls up compactly for easy transport, but is still large enough to accommodate my toddler. It’s also machine washable, so keeping it clean is simple.

Though I think it’s a great idea to splurge on these items, you may have a different perspective. Which inessential items have you found to be worth the splurge?

Shared at the following link parties:

Monday’s Musings, Titus 2 Tuesday, Titus 2sday, Tuesday Talk, Coffee and Conversation, Think Tank Thursday, Shine Blog Hop, Friday Frivolity, and The Art of Home-Making.

Comments

  1. I think it is so great to hear your perspective on these different items! Different things definitely work for different people, and even for different children with their various needs! Since we’re first-time parents, we’ll be discovering what works and what doesn’t work, and partially for that reason we’re going to have a couple carriers on hand (we have a couple of soft-structured carriers, and I’m going to make a wrap. I may also make a k’tan as well, just for variety, to see what we like best).

    Do you know how to determine a size for a nursing tank? I am planning to buy some at some for having on hand in the hospital and early days of postpartum, but I have no idea what size to get. Usually I wear a size medium for t-shirts or tank tops, do you think I should go with a medium for a nursing tank? I know it’s probably also hard to determine before the milk comes in, but it’d be nice to have in the hospital.

    • Yes, AnneMarie, different things work for different families. This is why I always try to say things like “such-and-such might be worth a try” instead of saying “You should do x, y, and z.”
      As far as nursing tanks are concerned, I would go with the same size you typically wear in shirts. They aren’t sized as specifically as bras (i.e., they’re just small, medium, large, etc. as opposed to cup sizes) so they can accommodate changes in size when your milk comes in. It’s a great idea to have these at the hospital for after the birth. I ended up staying in the hospital for 4 days after the birth of my daughter and I wore nursing tanks and a lightweight skirt instead of a hospital gown. This was comfortable and functional.

      • Thank you so much, Shannon! That’s very helpful to know, and I now have a much better idea of what to look for when I go shopping soon! 🙂

  2. I totally agree with all of these, especially the nursing tank tops! I thought I could get by without having to buy them because of the extra expense and just make do with the tank tops I already had but once I tried one, I was hooked!

    • Hi Britney,
      I was hesitant to buy them at first, too, but I’m so glad I did. I wore mine until they literally had holes in them!

  3. This post is helpful for me, as I’m pregnant with our 5th baby and we have not kept any of our baby stuff, other than the crib and the cot! As I am in the UK, I have been looking at the Kiddy Heartbeat carrier- thank you for mentioning it!

    • Shannon says:

      Hi Gwen,
      My husband really likes it. I’ve never used it…if I recall correctly they come in two sizes and his is too big for me. However, it seems very sturdy and the shoulder straps have a lot of padding.

  4. I also loved the nursing tank tops, and I still wear them, my worn out ones from last baby are now doubling as maternity shirts because they are so stretched, for the next baby in 10 weeks time. I found the nursing pillow great too because she could nurse while I was doing computer jobs, and I loved the Baby Bjorn carrier as we too had a convertible car seat.
    I had a bunch of old dicky prams last time, and this time I’ve been so blessed to be given a double pram that will fit the baby and toddler in, as they are pricey new.
    Have you ever heard of a Bumbo seat? They help babies between 3-6 months learn to sit and feel part of the family, also you could use in the bath under supervision. I had one last time and loaned it to someone and went found another one because I couldn’t get it back. Your neighbour from Cornerstone Confessions.

    • Shannon says:

      I have heard of a Bumbo seat, Lizzy. I did not have one with my daughter, but I know many parents who appreciate having them for their young infants.
      We have also been given a double stroller (ours is a hand-me-down from my sister) and I’m so grateful to be able to avoid this expense!

  5. Shannon, thanks for this wonderfully sensible and helpful list! I’m waaaayyy past the baby years, but I’ve a friend on our worship team at church who is just beginning this journey, so I’m excited to share this with her! 😉 Blessings on you, mama-in-waiting! Stopping by from Coffee & Conversation!

  6. I loved my Boppy with my first and am making sure it goes to the hospital with me this time. With a scheduled c-section, I’ll be there for 5 days so it will get used. I splurged on an LL Bean diaper bag when my first was about 8 months old. It was one of the best purchases I made. But I think the best splurge was a VTech mobile for the crib. I may have gone through a lot of batteries but it was the best $30 we spent that we didn’t have at the moment. It really helped my daughter fall asleep those first 7 months or so. #ShineBlogHop

    • Hi Julie,
      Thanks for the input, especially about the mobile. We’ve never used a mobile and I’m not sure I’ve heard other moms talk about using them. It’s great to know that this was a really beneficial item for you and your daughter.

  7. What a useful list, Shannon. I agree with every single one of them–especially the white noise machine. That thing worked wonders for our daughter, and during those months when you’re craving as much sleep as possible, it’s a worthy purchase. Anything that will help her sleep and stay asleep longer is worth it. Thanks for sharing your useful tips with us on #shinebloghop. It’s so great you were able to join us again this week 🙂

  8. Love this! I had a boppy with number 1 and you said it perfect – it got the job done. I got a Brest Friend with this one and it’s a total game changer~

  9. Great list. The only difference is we used a “pink noise” machine instead of white noise. White noise is static, pink noise varies (ocean waves, rainstorm, etc.).

    Thanks for sharing on #FridayFrivolity

  10. I’ve heard really great things about the white noise machines! We were lucky in that Marianna was a really good sleeper. Of all the things we bought / were given, my favourite turned out to be a Tippitoes mini bath. It really made all our lives so much easier. #FridayFrivolity

  11. I’d heard all the wonderful things about My Breast Friend and we registered for it and got it, but then were also given a Boppy, as well. I’d wanted to return the Boppy, but my husband wisely convinced me to keep both, since perhaps they would both be helpful, in different ways. He was SO right – sometimes I preferred one to the other, or even used BOTH at the same time! The same goes for having multiple carriers – some were better for a newborn, some were better when it got too hot for the others, some were better while hiking, some better when I was running errands on my own… I say, if you’re going to baby-wear, get a variety (and they don’t have to be pricey) and you’ll be happy! Thanks for joining us at #FridayFrivolity this week and hope to see you again!

  12. I agree with so many of these! We use a high powered fan for white noise, but I 100% agree that something that makes white noise is essential. And yes to several baby carriers! I used a ring sling for when L was a newborn and now I use a Ergo. He’s getting to be pretty heavy at 1 yrs old so I’m thinking about looking at toddler versions. I didn’t breastfeed (as an adoptive mom) so I’d add a bottle warmer to the list. Our daughter was so picky on the temperature, and she would’ve never eaten without it! Plus, it was so nice to have something portable so we didn’t have to go downstairs in the middle of the night to warm up her bottle on the stove. Oh, and 1 more! An exersaucer. The kids love it – and it’s nice to have something to put them in when you need a little break to fold laundry, make dinner,…go to the bathroom! haha Great list! I’m featuring it for Tuesday Talk this week! Thanks for sharing it with us!
    Jessica, Sweet Little Ones

    • Hi Jessica,
      Thanks for your perspective on the bottle warmer!
      We didn’t have an exersaucer, but we did have a jumperoo. They are a bit different, but the concept is similar. I totally agree with you about it being worth the splurge. My daughter loved playing in hers and it did free me up for a few minutes to do the dishes or get a load of laundry started. Thanks for featuring the post!

  13. Really helpful list of baby essentials. Thanks for posting.

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