Five baby essentials you DON'T need

There seem to be endless lists of newborn ‘essentials’ but, browse your local selling pages and you’ll see most are listed as ‘hardly used. Here are five things I discovered I didn’t need


1) Breastfeeding tops

Vest top

Wear two vest tops – life one up and pull the other down – for a cheaper alternative to breastfeeding tops

There’s no doubt they’re ingenious, with folds of fabric that mean you can feed at a moment’s notice without exposing your whole boob But they are expensive.

You can get a similar effect, for far far cheaper with two vest tops underneath a cardigan or top. Simply pull one vest top up and the other down – all the advantages of a specialist top but for around £3 (if you go to Primark) rather than £50 from companies like Mamas and Papas.


2) Toys

Pine Cone

Instead of fancy toys try ‘heuristic play’ using natural objects like pine cones

Yes, you need a few toys for your newborn, but in the early days they’re much more interested in your face, voice and the world around them. As they become older and ready to play the cliché is true – they’ll prefer the cardboard box to its contents. And there’s a trend towards ‘heruristic play’ – it’s a fancy term for exploring real world objects instead of toys. Think wooden spoons, pine cones (which I wiped over with an anti-bac wipe), and dried pasta. As well as making your child brighter (according to some studies) it’s also cheaper!


3) Outfits

Baby clothes

Baby outfits look cute but can be uncomfortable

In those early days you might want to dress your newborn in all manner of fancy outfits – cute jeans or little dresses. But babygros are infinitely more practical for those middle of the night poo-splosions. They’re also more comfortable for your baby – they spend most of their time on their back so pockets and zips can be really dig in on their delicate skin.

And the same goes for shoes – until your little one is walking they’re more hassle than they are worth.

4) A pram


Lie-flat prams will only last your little one for three months

You might think it’s a necessity but a pram is a big waste of money. Yes, you need to transport your newborn and you will probably buy a fancy ‘travel system’ so you can switch between a pushchair and carseat on the wheel base. But I’d go so far as to say even that’s not necessary. By seven months almost every mum I knew ditched their heavy wheels for a lightweight buggy (usually a Maclaren).

Still, it’s tempting to have a travel system so you can lift your sleeping newborn, still in the carseat, on to the wheels – although make sure they’re not in it for longer than two hours because tiny babies need to lie flat.

But I still maintain you don’t need a pram. If you get a travel system with a ‘lie flat’ seat then it does almost exactly the same job, only you’ll be lucky to get more than three months out of pram. (It might sound like a lifetime when you’re pregnant, but trust me, it’s really not).


5) A nursery


You won’t need to have a nursery ready the moment your little one comes home

You might rush to kit out a nursery before your due date with a tiny chest of drawers and a miniature wardrobe  (I know I did). But, if you follow current advice, you’ll have your baby in your room for the first six months to minimise the risk of sudden infant death syndrome. By the time you move your little one in to their own room the tiny furniture will soon be too small. Start off with quality (adult-sized) furniture, attached to the wall, for safety and it will last them years.