These are my opinions and should in no way be interpreted as safety instructions or guidelines. Always read the instructions when you buy a new product, and check for recalls! Discuss decisions with your baby's healthcare provider.
1. Bottle Warmers: Warm water works well enough, and since many more people are breastfeeding these have become obsolete. If you are a formula feeder or an exclusive pumper, warm water works just fine! No need to spend the $$$.
2. Newborn Shoes: This is simple. Babies don't walk, and when they are born many have bowing in their legs and feet related to their positioning in utero. Basically, they don't tend to stay on because of the way their feet are shaped initially. You won't use them! Get fuzzy socks which will get you much farther in keeping your baby warm and comfortable.
3. Wipe Warmer: You love your baby, and you want to pamper them no doubt. The wipe warmer is silly, though. Babies quickly accustom to room temperature wipes which are not 'freezing.' Another consideration is that if your baby is accustomed to warm wipes then the first time they will be without is when you are not home which is already hard. It will be a bad experience when in addition to being on the scary mall changing table, your baby gets a rude, foreign, cool awakening. Skip this needless item!
4. Crib: I realize this will be met with opposition, as many people use them quite successfully. I will amend this item and say that you could probably wait until you get your baby home to get one. A bassinet will take you far enough that you will know if you are going to co-sleep and then you have saved the money. If you find you are not going to co-sleep, then get that crib! If you do get a crib, make sure you get one that converts into a bed in the future, so even if it ends being an ornament while you have an infant, it will be useful one day!
5. Baby Headbands: This is limited to little girls for the most part, but unless, you are taking pictures, I say skip 'em. Babies just pull them off, and if they pull them down, they are a strangulation risk.
1. The Portable High-Chair or the Traveling High-Chair: Once you resume your normal life you will realize that the world is not always prepared to accomodate your little one. These two items are perfect for family outings sitting on the sidelines at a game or at a restaurant where you don't feel like putting your baby in one of those awful 'slings' they offer to hold the carseat. My poor baby was always bumped around by wait staff like luggage in those 'slings.'
2. Baby-wearing device: Unless you have been living under a rock, you have noticed mommies all over carrying their babies in slings or front/back carrying devices. This isn't just a fad. Cultures all over the world have been doing it for 1,000's of years for a good reason. Worn babies are quieter and more content, seem to learn more quickly about the world around them, and allow their mothers to go on with their daily tasks while maintaining closeness.
I loved a basic ring-sling. A great place to get a ring-sling is Sleeping Baby Productions. This website even has an option for people who already have a ring-sling they are not happy with so that they can be re-sewn into a better arrangement! Another obvious favorite is the Moby Wrap. These allow for a variety of carries, are warm & snuggly, and can be easily washed. I loved it when my baby was brand new! My favorite carrier for the long-haul is the CatBirdBaby Pikkolo Carrier. This is great for all kinds of outings and even has a sleep hood to support your babies limp head and neck. It can be used for a sturdy back carry with a toddler of good size!
When starting out with baby-wearing your baby may fuss a bit as they adjust to the carrier, but a baby should ALWAYS have their face uncovered and breath quietly. If your baby is struggling it's too tight!
3. Halo Sleep Sack: Not many products can boast comfort while improving safety except maybe the latest luxury sedan. The Halo Sleep Sack has the ability to immediately calm and sooth my baby and allowed her to sleep longer. This product eliminates the need for loose blankets which can cover your baby's airways and increase the risk of SIDS. I tried a number of swaddling products. This one took the cake and was miles ahead of the rest!
4. 3-Wheeled Stroller with Big Wheels: When I first saw some of the tri-wheeled strollers with big wheels, I thought must be a silly, new trend. I did not realize how much I would need one, and it wasn't just useful for pretending to be a jogger ;) They move effortlessly and smoothly over grass and transition over a variety of terrains wonderfully. They swivel on a dime and are easier to handle. These strollers can be found in a range of prices. A great affordable option that I have personally tried and enjoyed is the Baby Trend Jogger which can be nabbed for around $99. A pricier option with more bells and whistles is the Baby Jogger City Elite which will run you anywhere from $300-$400. Niether of these are serious jogging strollers and are intended for all over terrain. If you are a serious jogger, I would recommend getting a single purpose stroller intended solely for jogging. Multi-purpose strollers tend to give serious joggers trouble. Speed walkers or occasional joggers can get away with the two I have recommended!
5. Medela Quick Clean Micro-Steam Bags: Every mom wants to do the right thing and provide their baby with the safest, cleanest environment and feeding options. Whether you breastfeed or formula feed these bags eliminate time consuming boiling of pumping parts and bottles. They steam sanitize your parts and bottles in anywhere from 1.5-5 minutes depending on the part and microwave. YOU MUST HAVE THESE! They run about $6 for 5 count and each bag is good for 20-ish uses. I admit to using these for well over 20x with no trouble!
What products were Must-Haves for you? What products do you wish you never would have purchased?