Useless Baby Gifts

Three babies (6-9 months) sitting on white background, one cryingThere are way too many useless baby gifts on the market. Especially for newborns. Contrary to what marketers tell you, newborn babies don’t need a whole lot to get by. So, whether you’re pursuing the aisles for gifts for your baby-to-be, or are searching for that perfect baby shower gift, take heed and avoid the overly cutesy (but totally unnecessary) stuff.

What’s useless? Of course, opinions vary on what is truly worthless. So, while you may take this with a grain of salt, here are my views on what not to buy.

Hard-sole Infant Shoes
First off, infants aren’t walking. So why do they need hard-soled shoes? Newborns can wear booties to keep their feet warm but they have no use for shoes until they start standing.

Then, it’s best to get soft-soled shoes until they really start walking. Yeah, I know. Infant shoes are pretty darn cute (and I even fell victim to buying  pair myself before I had my son) but they’ll only fall off and make you more evaporated than you already are. And who needs that?!

Newborn Dressy Outfits
Too many newborn-sized outfits are a waste in the first place. But dressy newborn outfits (or even 0 – 3 month ones) are like infant shoes–cute but annoying. You know the outfits I’m talking about–the ones with collars, jeans, matching jackets, etc. Get one cute outfit for photos but other than that opt for onesies and one-piece sleepers. You know–comfy stuff. It’s acceptable—and encouraged—for newborns to spend weeks in their pajamas.

Tummy Time Mats
It’s easy to make your own tummy time mat. First, pick out a large blanket and lay it out on the floor. Second, lay your baby on the blanket and sprinkle some toys around him. And there you go–yo just saved $20!

Infant Seats
You don’t need one of those seats to sit your baby up. Sure, they’re convenient–for like 2 weeks. Your child will learn to sit up on her own soon enough. And, if you need a place for her to sit, use a high chair or a nursing pillow as a prop.

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About Sarah Valek

Sarah Valek is a freelance writer based in Cleveland, Ohio. She has written numerous articles on alternative parenting and the challenges of raising a vegan child in a meat-eating world. Sarah holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in writing and art from Ithaca College. She spends her days drinking soy lattes and taking her son bird-watching.

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  1. I totally agree! These items are made so cute it makes you want to buy them, but babies don’t need them. When buying a baby gift try to give the parents a practical gift they will actually use. Diapers are a great gift that the parents will need and go through a lot of! Find out which brand they prefer or purchase a gift certificate to a diaper delivery service.