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10 Baby Products You Can Go Without

I’m so tired of hearing people complain about how expensive children are. To me, it just sounds like anti-children-having propaganda. That being said, if an expectant parent buys every baby product on the market brand new, they may end up re-mortgaging their house.

money saving tips for baby

Having taken care of babies constantly for the last 4 years, I have noticed some items I didn’t buy, I never missed. There were also some items I did buy that were a complete waste of money, as I never needed them. For those expectant parents who are on a budget, this list is for you.

Electric breast pump

If you are planning on returning to work while still exclusively breastfeeding, then perhaps an electric breast pump is worthwhile. However, for the rest of us that are rarely parted from our babies, or are planning on switching to formula when we return to work, it really isn’t necessary. 

I tried an electric pump out in my early days of breastfeeding and found it to be quite painful to use. My baby was much better at extracting my milk than the pump anyway.


If your baby is only rarely using a bottle, there really is little need for a steriliser. Instead, you can just use the microwave or pour over some boiling water from the kettle, which will also do the trick. I bought a steriliser 4 years ago and I found that I hardly ever used it, it took up a massive amount of space in my kitchen cupboards and it produced an unpleasant burning smell the few times I used it. I got rid of it earlier this year. Don’t waste your money.

Baby rocker/swing

If you already have a baby bouncer, you really don’t need a rocker too. Rockers require a lot of batteries, which can be really expensive and serve basically the same purpose as a non-battery-wasting bouncer.

Baby carrier (strollers) AND buggy

Sure, having a baby carrier or buggy is nice. But having both for just the one baby is really not essential, so long as you have a car seat. And if you intend to do ‘baby bunching’ like me (have your children in quick succession), you may well find very quickly that you need to upgrade your single buggy to a twin buggy anyway. In retrospect, it would have been better for me to just get a baby carrier and then buy the double buggy when my second child was born.

Skin creams

When I had my babies, the hospital sent me home with a large bag packed full with free samples of baby skin cream, shampoo, oils, etc. I still haven’t used them all up. If by some miracle you do make your way through all of those, just buy a tub of pure lanolin from the internet, which works on virtually every single skin complaint. Your baby might smell a bit like a sheep from the lanolin, since the wax is the natural by-product after boiling sheep’s wool, but it is shockingly effective, free from unnatural products and way less likely to produce an allergic reaction.

baby products not needed

Nursing cape

If you really feel self-conscious about nursing in front of other people, simply drape a muslin/burp cloth over your shoulder. A nursing cape will take up a tonne of space in your nappy bag and to be perfectly honest, they look way more ridiculous than the sight of a mother feeding her child.

Dummies (pacifiers)

I have received dummies from my community centre, the hospital and other parents for free. I have never had to buy a single one. My children were never really interested in sucking on dummies anyway so most of the dummies are still sitting in a cupboard in my house in their original packaging.

Maternity underwear

The hospital will provide you with some very unflattering net underwear after you give birth. I definitely recommend sticking with this for the first couple of weeks. Without being too graphic, let me just assure you that this is not a time in your life when you want to be wearing nice, new underwear. It will get ruined. And after that, if you haven’t returned to your old figure (it usually takes quite a while!), just buy some larger underwear and save yourself a little money.

Swaddling sack

We bought a couple of swaddling sacks for our first child and I tried using them on my first 2 children. What did I discover? My babies HATE being swaddled. Those little rebels wanted the freedom to flail and stretch, even at only a few days old. And even if you discover that your little ones prefer to be swaddled, there’s a multitude of videos on YouTube that will teach how to swaddle your baby with a much cheaper receiving blanket instead.

Squeezy bath toys

I know that it seems obligatory to have a rubber ducky or two for your child. But trust me, you’ll regret it.

I’ve learned the hard way that rubber ducky-type squeezy bath toys are impossible to fully dry out once moisture gets inside them, which pretty much happens the first time you use them. That moisture eventually turns into black mould, which poses a serious hazard to your baby’s health. Instead, opt for bath toys that won’t trap in moisture.



Kay is a budding mom blogger, YouTuber, teacher, translator, food gardener, wife and SAHM. She's a British ex-pat living in Austria and a 3-time mother to a 4-year old, a 2-year old and a 9-month old. She loves organising her home, eating food grown in her own garden and going on adventures with her family.
Feel free to connect with Kay on:
Twitter | Pinterest | Google + | YouTube


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  • I have a friend who just gave birth on her first baby and this would be really helpful for her. I will definitely share this to her.

  • As a first time mom, I wanted everything on the list above. I thought I would be ill-prepared if I didn’t have them.

    • It certainly doesn’t hurt to get these things, if you have the funds available… apart from the bath toys. Who knew that such a standard item like that could be so dangerous?!

    • Exactly! Why break the bank on items that you don’t even need?! I’ve got 3 young kids and I don’t feel like it has been expensive at all raising them (so far). In fact, it’s probably been cheaper than if we hadn’t had kids since we don’t go out to restaurants, go to the cinema or do other similar expensive activities any more that are tough to do with a baby in tow.

    • Thanks very much! I hate thinking of new parents freaking out about the cost of it all. There’s plenty of ways to save money without feeling like you’re missing out.

    • Using the muslin is handy too because then you can quickly mop up any spit-up quickly before it dribbles down on the rest of your clothes or the furniture you’re sitting on. My third baby throws up A LOT and it’s essential to have mopping up implements close-by at all times!

  • This is an interesting view on baby products. I have to say I respectfully disagree with a few on the list. I am a mom of 4 and I desperately need our stroller. Also, my baby wasn’t able to latch on when I nursed him last year, so I needed an electric pump. I think even if a mom’s baby is able to latch on, she should still get a breast pump. It comes in handy when mom is tired and dad or a family member needs to feed baby.

  • it’s so funny we all have that list of things that we HAD to have and then never used. I loved my stroller but only used the carrier a few times. The bottle drying rack is probably the biggest thing that was a waste of space and money 😉

    • I know! I only started finding my stroller properly useful once I was on my second child and starting running out of arms to carry everything. And I found that baby carriers are only useful if I can get them on and off quickly. I sold my Moby and bought a Baby Björn with my 3rd child because it was so much more user-friendly.

  • Baby carriers, baby swing/rocker and the pacifier helps me calm my baby so for me those are on my top list. When I had my baby I never had the chance to use my breast pump (I bought not once but twice). It didn’t work on me 😀 but thankfully I manage to breastfeed my daughter for one and half years.

    • Some people prefer to carry and some prefer to stroll. But having both isn’t really essential. And with pacifiers, it’s not that you might not need them. I just caution against buying them because chances are you’ll be given a bunch for the lovely price of free. 🙂

  • I just went back memory lane and the idea of me buying baby items was fun during the days. Now everything became so expensive and having a baby needs a lot of planning.

    • Very true. I kept my costs down by getting most items second-hand or even free from friends and family whose kids were older and they wanted de-clutter. The baby products industry has become overblown, just like the wedding industry.

    • It’s one of my biggest sources of Mum Guilt that it took me so long to figure out the dangers of the bath toys. I swear my kids get sick less often since I threw all mine out. I used to assume that companies wouldn’t be allowed to sell products to parents that were so dangerous. How naive was I?!

    • True, things like the creams and pacifiers are essential for a lot of mums. But there’s no need to buy them as you’ll probably get plenty for free.

About Author



Kay is a budding mom blogger, YouTuber, teacher, translator, food gardener, wife and SAHM. She's a British ex-pat living in Austria and a 3-time mother to a 4-year old, a 2-year old and a 9-month old. She loves organising her home, eating food grown in her own garden and going on adventures with her family.
Feel free to connect with Kay on:
Twitter | Pinterest | Google + | YouTube