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.
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?