Before you've been a parent, you have no idea what to expect. So you prepare as best you can by buying way too much shit. Seriously - the amount of money I wasted on useless baby things is ridiculous. I probably could have quit working back when Brandon was born if I would have been a bit wiser. If you're out of the loop and want to know what new parents are suggested to buy, here is the Babies R Us "Must Have" Registry checklist. It will blow your mind. When you add up the cost of everything on there, you're looking at a small fortune. The smart parents ask themselves, "how did my parents survive without a Boppy or Bumbo?" and realize they can live without every imaginable baby item. And then, there are parents like me.
Here are some totally useless baby items I bought and barely used:
1. Wipe warmer. Stupidest thing ever. Completely pointless. I'm still too angry that I spent money on it to even write anything more about it - and I bought it two years ago.
2. Baby shoes. I bought baby shoes in different colors and would actually put them on Brandon when taking him places. They always matched his outfit, of course. And they always fell off. Why the hell did I buy shoes for a child that couldn't walk or even bear weight on his legs? Beats me. But the baby Chuck Taylors are cute as hell.
3. Infant tub. Yes, they actually make a small tub to put inside your big tub to bathe your baby. Holden outgrew it in about three weeks. Use the sink or the tub like a rational person. I couldn't even sell my infant tub at our garage sale, so that tells you how useless it is.
4. Shirts that aren't onesies. I spent a great deal of money buying clothes for Brandon before he was even born. This included dress shirts and polos. Then, I actually dressed him. If your baby's shirt doesn't snap below his diaper, it's going to ride up on him until he's over a year old. So unless you want your baby's midriff always exposed, he will always be in a onesie. You can put shirts on over that, too, of course, but really, how much work do you want?
5. Different-sized nipples for his bottles. Yes, every three months or so you're supposed to advance your baby to the next stage of nipples so he can suck more out faster. Or, you can just buy Variflow nipples like I did with Holden and stop changing nipples out all the time.
6. Baby towels/bath robe. Again, like the tub, a large infant outgrows these small towels very quickly. If you don't want to use adult towels, you can get bigger kid towels still with the cute little hoods on them instead that last into toddlerhood. And baby towels aren't made the same way as adult towels. The baby towel material doesn't dry skin as well. Everything feels damp - like you pulled your baby out of a rainforest.
7. Baby mittens. Seriously - they're basically socks to put on your baby's hands to prevent him from scratching himself. I have a better idea - clip his fingernails! In the hospital with Holden, I had Steve bring me fingernail clippers from home because the nurses refuse to clip your baby's nails for you. They'll tell you to file your baby's nails for the first few months, which will take forever and never do as good of a job as clipping them. Just be careful, take your time, stick your tongue out in concentration and clip his tiny yet sharp fingernails.
Tomorrow I'll write about the opposite - things I didn't get or that I should have bought more of. There are useful things and useless things for babies. It seems like baby showers yield the useless and you soon find yourself at Walmart at 11 pm with a screaming two-week-old baby, desperately scanning the shelves for what you wish you would have known about before. Ah, the joys of first-time parenthood.