The following is a guest post from regular contributor, Emily at So Damn Domestic.
You can find tons of checklists and advice articles about what to prepare when you’re expecting a baby… I even just posted my own “7 Things to Organize Before Baby Arrives” on my blog.
But here’s the thing. Some things? You do NOT need to think about. Not even a little bit.
(Not yet, anyway.)
5 Things NOT to Organize Before Baby Arrives
1. Childproofing / Baby Gates
I always giggle a bit when I see baby registries full of baby-proofing items. Your newborn baby won’t even be able to roll over, let alone stick forks into the electrical outlets, open cabinets to guzzle dishwasher detergent, or explore the house in the dead of night.
This really isn’t something you need to worry about right away when you’re expecting a baby. You have time.
2. Baby Food / High Chair
Your baby’s gut needs 6 months to mature before it’s ready to handle digesting food. So no matter what your solid food plan is (store-bought purees, homemade purees, baby-led solids, etc.), you have plenty of time before you need to even think about little spoons or bowls, high chairs, bibs, and any food preparation gadgets.
Do a little bit of research if you’d like, but hold off on any purchases. I promise, the stores will still be open.
3. Baby “Gear”
I wouldn’t get this stuff too far ahead of time… here’s the thing. Even if your first baby LOVED the swing, and lived in it, and it saved your life, your second or subsequent baby might just hate it. And if you bought a swing mid-pregnancy, your chances of being able to return the hated swing to the store are slim to none.
If, on the other hand, you wait until you’re thinking, “A swing would be nice right about now,” you can buy one, try it, and if your kid hates it, you can easily return it. It happened to me. I bought 2 swings and borrowed a couple, to try different kinds (one at a time) and my kids hated them all. Thankfully, I wasn’t out any money for this experiment. Lovely!
And things like bouncers and toy hangers (or “baby gyms”) are easily found on Craigslist or Facebook sale groups year-round for way cheaper than they are in stores. When I needed a bouncer for a little while, to keep a newly-mobile Joey occupied while I pumped milk for him (whole huge long story there), I bought one for like $15 from someone in my neighborhood. Then, I gave it away when I was finished with it a little while later.
Also? These things are huge, and if you don’t need to have them all at once, ahead of time, going slowly with them sure gives your home more breathing room.
4. A Well-Stocked Medicine Cabinet
Ointments, creams, powders, 3 kinds of thermometers, booger-suckers, pain relievers, homeopathic remedies, oils, salves, and so on…
You could try to guess what your baby is going to need, anticipating every illness, rash, and ailment.
Or you could send your husband or partner to the store if and when you need something like this, while you snuggle and comfort the baby.
Or pick it up on the way home from work.
Or, if you have neighbors with kids, in a pinch, you can stop by to borrow a dose or a smear of ointment (or whatever) until you get to the store.
Or you could stock up, spend time and space storing it and organizing it, and throw it all away in a bit when it’s all expired.
5. All the diapers in the world
Imagine … you try to estimate how long your baby will be wearing each diaper size, how many diapers he’ll use each day, and how many packs of wipes you will need. Then you start stocking up on the brand your best friends recommend… boxes and boxes of newborn diapers, followed by the next 3 sizes stack up in your baby’s closet. You feel proud because you bought some on sale, with coupons, and many were gifts since you registered for them too.
And then your baby arrives, and gets the worst rash ever… your friends’ favorite brands just happen to have some chemical that affects your baby differently.
Or your baby’s pees leak every single time – your baby must be shaped differently than your friends’ babies.
Or even if all seems well at first, your baby grows faster or more slowly than you anticipated, and you end up with way too many of one size and far too few of the next.
Why put yourself through all of this? (Especially when Amazon and Target both deliver diapers and wipes!)
It all comes down to one thing…
If you can’t tell, my general feeling is, “The stores are still going to be open, and you don’t have to own every baby thing you might possibly need at once.” It’s worked for me really well for 2 kids, and it’s working so far for baby number 3 due any day now. (I’m starting from scratch with “stuff” since we decluttered it ALL in between my son and this baby.)
Did you over-prepare when you were expecting your kids? Or do you feel like you did just the right amount of preparation?
Did I miss anything else big parents should NOT worry about when waiting for baby to arrive?
Want to declutter before baby arrives?
I’m hosting a 30-day Clutter-Free Countdown every month to help you declutter. Sign up to get the free workbook, checklists, printables, and guidance when the next round begins. I’ll see you then!
Emily Chapelle offers motivating guidance to busy women who are ready to make changes that last. Why? So they can spend more time on the things and people that really matter. She shares home organizing tips, decluttering your life, time-management for homemakers, and other homemaking topics at So Damn Domestic.
*Please note that this post contains affiliate links (however, as always, any and all opinions are genuinely my own – or the author, in the case of posts by guest contributors). Thanks for supporting my site!