20 Most Useful & Useless Baby Purchases

Your long-awaited baby has arrived, and your life has changed in more ways than one. The family budget is also going through dramatic changes – but you can make it easier for your bank account if you take heed of a recent research looking into absolutely necessary and quite unnecessary purchases. The survey reveals that the average family can save $600 and more by selective shopping.


The Which? consumer group took some of the load off new parents’ shoulders by coming up with a list comprising both items you shouldn’t neglect and those that are practically must-have. Let’s regard the useful ones first.

  1. Audio monitor
  2. Video monitor for the baby’s cot
  3. Stair gate
  4. Change bag
  5. Sleeping bag
  6. Steam sterilizer kit
  7. Microwave steam sterilizer kit
  8. Changing unit
  9. Rocker chair or bouncer
  10. Baby digital ear thermometer

It looks like present-day childcare can’t do without audio and video monitors, and you will certainly appreciate steam sterilizer kits. Also, there’s no doubt at all about obtaining change bags and sleep bags. Don’t forget a digital ear thermometer – you will be glad to have it at hand for times of health issues.

Now about some things you can easily walk by:

  1. Washing bowls
  2. Manual breast pump
  3. Mobile cot
  4. Swaddling blanket
  5. Stacker for nappies
  6. Bin for used nappies
  7. Bumbo seat
  8. Door baby bouncer
  9. Reins
  10. Carrier

Door baby bouncer sounds like a good thing, but how about using the door as a door? Disaster.
Baby reins, carriers and things like fabric slings designed to carry the baby around next to the mom can be a big hit with some parents, but they are not what you won’t be able to do without. Bumbo seats that help control babies sitting on the floor have also been rejected as a necessity.

All these items were deemed negligible by over 2,000 parents covered by the research.

Summing up parents’ experience, Which?’s editor, Richard Headland, reminded that shopping for expecting parents can result in wrong decisions that can add up to quite a big sum. You have to think carefully to see what products can really help you along and what products can wait and leave your wallet thicker.

That can’t be disregarded, for a study conducted by the Aviva insurer reveals that every baby sets the family back by about $2,000 (in the UK it comes to a yearly £425 million). Think how that sum can be decreased if 60% parents are known to have bought things they never – or rarely – used.

The Aviva spokesperson commented that, excited by the prospect of having a baby, “it’s understandable that people want to splash out and make everything perfect for their new arrival.” Nevertheless, it can turn out later that some of the money were merely wasted.

The NetMums website founder Siobhan Freegard chimes in with the reminder that people raised children for centuries without the help of gadgets, so there’s no need to feel you won’t be able to get by without them. Of course, things like baby monitors are very helpful, but most of others, in his opinion, can be disregarded.

Nowadays about 70% families have to do their utmost to ensure a decent living standard, meanwhile a first-time mum’s expenses list comes to $2,000 and more.

Over 70% of parents admit to being under pressure to buy lots of stuff, says Freegard, and about 35% exceed their budgets – a situation which is quite disconcerting.


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