What You DON’T Need to Buy for Your Newborn26 June 2023 | Before Your Baby is Born | By Lisa H
Once you’re in the nesting phase, you will be scoring the internet for lists of things you should be. (We have one too and you can find it here).
But perhaps even more importantly, we have put together a list of things you DON’T need in the beginning!
For this article, I recruited doula Keatyn Jayne to help me make the ultimate list of what new parents don’t need. Keatyn is a birth and postpartum doula in Berlin. She has a passion for helping parents feel empowered and educated to birth and bring up their babies in a way that feels best for them. She is also a trained infant sleep educator. You can learn more about her work at www.birthandbeyond-berlin.com.
As Keatyn says: The baby will spend so much of the first year in your space/on your body, so instead of spending all your resources designing a cute nursery, I encourage families to use some resources to also freshen up their space. If you have been wanting to get a new bed/couch/sheets or paint the walls, now is the time!
Or maybe you can simplify your life a little by getting a dryer, dishwasher, or hiring a cleaner. When you are logging long hours feeding and snuggling baby, you will be so glad you did. The infant won’t care if their diapers are changed on a fancy changing table or a little mat on the couch, but they will feel if you are relaxed.
Here is our list, compiled between an experienced doula and a mother of two, with tried and true tips from their four midwives.
What you don’t need in early weeks
A diaper backpack – just use a regular bag or backpack with a diaper bag (like this one from Lässig)
Too many baby care products (creams, body wash and lotions…)
Do get a good diaper rash cream
If you are nursing, breast milk is actually a wonderful natural healer that is recommended by many midwives! LaLeMa, which was founded by a German mom, makes a super cool kit that you can use to turn your breast milk into a lotion that keeps for at least three months
Those bulb-shaped nose suckers – they don’t work, instead get one that is electric or that you suck on with your mouth, “nose frida” (sounds weird but works really well!)
A “nest” - those soft cushy crib nests seem really enticing, and they can be great for some daytime (supervised) naps, but they are not safe or recommended for sleeping and are quite expensive for something a baby grows out of quickly.
Baby mittens – infants like to feel things with their hands and gloves can restrict their sensory development
Toys – infants don’t not need any toys for the first few months. They do really like contrast, so those black and white cards/books are really enticing for most babies from very early on. Tribu Box is also a local Berlin mom-run company where they send you age appropriate toys (by month) and you can play and enjoy and then send back when you are ready for the next set of toys. (Kietzee Club members will find a discount code for Tribu Box in their members dashboard.)
A breastfeeding pillow – I personally found nursing more complicated with a breastfeeding pillow and preferred nurse laying down on my side but this is very much a personal preference
Mobiles over the bed as it can distract the infant from sleeping (but they are great later on, for example above the changing table)
Duvets or pillows for the baby bed are not needed till much later (go with a sleep sack, see above, for the first 12 months+ for safety reasons)
A bath thermometer (you can test the water temperate on your wrist if you feel safe doing so)
Baby chairs/swings – most of these are not ideal for extended use (and some are just outright unsafe). The more time a baby is strapped into something and in a sitting position, the less time they can wiggle and move freely, which is really important to their physical development.
A crib – Keatyn here: I am going to say something that might sound outrageous - DON’T BUY A CRIB get a Floor Bed instead. Most babies don’t actually end up sleeping in their crib and they are bulky and expensive. Instead, when the infant has outgrown the newborn baby-bay, a twin/full size mattress on the floor can be a really great option. This way, you can cuddle/feed baby to sleep, and then roll away or doze yourself (if you have never tried to transfer a peacefully sleeping infant from your arms down into a crib, just for them to wake the minute you put them down- you have no idea how much of a game changer the roll away is!) This blog has a good example of a safe set up: tight fitting sheets, no pillows/cushions, bed is away from the walls, and the room should be baby-proofed.
Keep in mind this list is based on our personal experiences and preferences and yours may be different.
Do you have other tips you would like to share? Email us at [email protected].
Don't waste money on baby stuff you don't need. We worked with doula Keatyn Jayne to craft the ultimate list of everything you really need to buy for your newborn.