There are an abundance of baby items out there to add to your registry as you prepare for your baby to arrive — it can be overwhelming. With my first baby, we were gifted with nearly everything we thought we needed and beyond, but we had no idea what we would really find useful within all that stuff.
After five kids, how about what we found isn't needed?
This was one of the first things we stopped using after our first baby was born and the refills ran out (because you pay to store that poop!). Why buy essentially a giant plastic bag to store poop until trash day while attempting to contain the smell, with the powdery perfume added to the bags that mixes with the stink. It's unpleasant. I get the idea, I do. But truthfully, it really didn't help with the whole stink issue and took up precious space in our small nursery. I realized I could get the stink completely out of the house and for free with a tad more effort of storing it in a grocery bag and throwing it in our trash can outside! Worth the savings and the extra one minute of my time.
Plastic baby bath tub
I hated that plastic bath tub. My floppy baby girl would just slide down into the water, and it didn't seem comfortable at all. She didn't like it — I'd hate to bathe in there, too! We also had zero room to store that chunky thing once we moved after our first baby was born, so bye-bye it went. I much prefer a soft infant bathing seat like the Blooming Bath or the Baby Delight Cushi Bath for the space saving ability and more soft comfortable for my sweet babies.
Tons of bottles
For a breastfed baby as a stay at home mom, I found that having a large collection of bottles just took up space in our cabinets for no reason. Most of my babies wouldn't even take a bottle at all! The few that did used them only occasionally, so we just needed about three bottles. Of course, if your baby is formula fed or you work and pump, you will need more bottles. Think about how you plan to feed and how often your baby will be taking a bottle. You can always go buy more if you find that you need them!
Giant high chair
I was gifted with a huge high chair, and I was so grateful for that thing for many years. However, I realized how much space it was taking up in our tiny kitchen once I realized that there were other options out there — and much easier to clean since there isn't fabric or lots of nooks for food to hide in! We love the Ikea high chair that is minimalist and has a smaller foot print. We also have liked using a simple portable high chair perched in one of our wooden chairs around our table, which does double duty to fold up and travel with you! It also helps a toddler feel more part of the meal when they get older. And, these options are also much cheaper! It's a win-win in my book saving space, cleaning time, and money.
With my first I lovingly steamed and blended homemade pureed food for my baby, or bought store bought jars (those awesome pouches, which don't need spoons, weren't out back then!). I'd sit down and feed her in the giant high chair each meal one spoon at a time. Let me tell ya, when baby number two came along (and baby three, four, five...) I didn't have time for that anymore. I discovered Baby Lead Weaning, and with it the beautiful gift of more time and allowing my babies to explore while feeding themselves. No need for a whole drawer dedicated to baby spoons now; we just keep a few toddler sets for later.
Millions of bibs
Bibs can be adorable, and I sure had a collection at one point! However, I found I reused my favorites over and over, so why have a whole basket of them? I also found that I typically had my baby wear one only while eating solid foods, and for those kind of messes I much preferred the silicone ones that wipe off easily or that you can throw in the dishwasher.
Again, due to lack of space when we moved after our first child we sold our changing table. We decided to use a dresser instead with a changing pad on top and never regretted it. I used the top drawer or a diaper caddy to hold the diapering supplies, and it was a bonus that their tiny little clothes were right there for changing as well! Plus, I found that the more wiggly our babies got, we moved to the bed or the floor for changing anyway. Then we just took off the changing pad and reclaimed that dresser top for nicknacks and picture frames. You could easily forgo even having the thick changing pad and just use a foldable one on the floor!
It's always interesting to hear what other moms find useful, or not, once they get deep into motherhood. One mom friend of mine said, “I got rid of our baby crib!” She found that co-sleeping was more her style, and a crib wasn't needed. Some moms get rid of the infant car seat and use only one convertible car seat to last for years (using a babycarrier instead of lifting the infant seat everywhere). I found that I became more minimalist the more children I had.
It helps to think about how you envision your parenting style to be, along with your space and your budget. That's the cool thing about this motherhood gig though — we get to make it our own, just like our nursery décor.