What I think babies need, despite BuzzFeed saying differently

I am a BuzzFeed addict. When Facebook lets me down, I turn to BuzzFeed for my mid-day entertainment. I of course am obsessed with all things parenting/baby related. The article, 19 things your baby doesn’t actually need,  kind of ticked me off. First off, it is written by a man. And before you go all rouge on me and start standing up for dads, lets be honest. The majority of men and fathers, don’t really have any idea what we as mother’s actually need for our children. The author’s BuzzFeed page does say he is a father of three, but I think we have different views on what our children need.  While some of the things in the article I can agree with, others I do not. So here is my response.

1) Baby Shoes. 

The article, written by BuzzFeed staff member Mike Spohr says, “Babies don’t walk until they are 9-18 months old, so until then shoes are little more than props. Adorable props, yes, but ones you don’t need to spend money on.”

 Well, I agree and disagree. I agree because yes, baby shoes are adorable and I have bought my son a ton of them. And yes, babies do not actually walk until they are 9-18 months, but the reason I disagree is because baby shoes are not made to serve the same purpose as shoes for adults. Baby shoes are not designed for walking. For one, they allow children to get familiar with the feeling of the shoe. They are soft souled, so they are often times like designer socks that look like shoes. They help babies get used to having something on their feet, and provide more warmth and protection with socks alone. So I would argue, that while baby shoes are not one of the 5 most important things your baby needs, they should not be on a list shunning them entirely. 

2) Bath Thermometer.

Spohr says, “You could buy one of these or you could, you know, just put your finger in the water.”

I agree totally here. I didn’t even know the thing existed before reading this article. Who wold want that? And how could you trust some numbers on a screen over your own touch? Bogus. 

3) Bottle warmer. 

Spohr says, “It’s really not so hard to warm your baby’s bottle in a bowl of hot tap water.”

Well, I think this might be one of those things a dad says and thinks without really know. First off, I did not have a bottle warmer. I also think the few months you need it cannot justify how much they cost. But I cannot argue against the convenance . This product is designed for convenance and I think it serves that purpose well. First off, there is no bowl design that can heat a bottle because the bottles float and move and it is a mess. Second, this does a good even job. Plus, a bowl doesn’t fi the bottle, the water doesn’t stay warm long enough, and 100 other reasons that is a pain. So while this is not the first thing you should go out and buy, you cannot deny its worth. 

 4) A traditional high chair.

Spohr says,” Babies do need somewhere to eat, but traditional high chairs take up a lot of space. A good alternative is a clip-on high chair, which clamps onto the side of a table or counter and can be put away when not in use.”

Well, I am a little in different with this. I am a bit neurotic and obsessed with safety. I don’t trust the clip on high chairs. Not to mention the one and only time i tried to use one, it would not fit to the table I was at because of the design of the table. And you cannot assume that all houses have tables to eat at. We have an island bar in our kitchen so a clip on chair would serve us no purpose. High chair’s do take up a lot of room, but they have been around for ages, so they must be doing something right. I think it teaches the child structure. Plus, if you are anything like me, you registered for the high chair that matches the pack n’ play, car seat and stroller, so it looks better! 

5) Pee-pee teepee

Spohr says,” Dropping a wipe atop your baby’s penis is just as effective, and unlike the Pee-pee Teepee, you won’t have to wash it afterward.”

This is another one of the products I have never heard of. It sounds cute though. My son is 9 months old, and knock on wood, I have never been a victim of a mid-diaper change golden shower. I agree with Sophr, this just seems silly.  

6) Boogie Wipes

 Spohr says, “While Boogie Wipes do have saline in them which helps to dissolve mucus, a warm towel or baby wipe does the job nearly as well for a whole lot less.”

I have used boogie wipes and prefer them. When you are on the go, a warm towel is not just going to fall out of the sky. Turner hates getting his nose wipes, I mean he screams bloody murder. The saline wipes are more gentle and make pulling the dried snot off his face a little less painful. I think these are a go, a must have. I would have to disagree totally here. 

7) Diaper sack

Spohr says, “Filling this thing up with diapers and then fumbling to get them out is way more work than it needs to be. Put your diapers in a drawer or cute basket and be done with it.”

5422434916_798d8cfdfaI again disagree totally. I have a diaper sack and love it. He suggests a cute basket, I am sure that would cost the same as the diaper sack, and again if you are like me, your diaper sack matches the crib bedding and nursery theme. And as far as a drawer or basket goes, that is putting your line of sight below the child if you are changing him on a changing table or bed. My diaper sack is hung directly above where I change Turner so it is super easy and makes the whole process better. So once again, this is a must in my book! 

8) Expensive Baby Bedding

Spohr says, “This John Deere crib bedding set goes for $275, which is a bargain compared to some sets that cost in the thousands of dollars! It’s important to remember that bedding will be peed on and washed over and over. No need to break the bank!”

Full disclosure, the image of the John Deere crib set used in the BuzzFeed article is hideous. Bless their hearts.

I agree that you shouldn’t break the bank here, but I think the bedding is part of the nesting process. Something a man/dad probably does not understand. Getting to pick it out and even registering for it as a gift is kind of part of the fun of having a baby. 

9) Stuffed Animals

Spohr says,” Babies show little interest in stuffed animals until they’re at least six months old, so there’s really no reason to buy them until then. The most important reason to forgo stuffed animals, though, is because they can be a SIDS risk.”

At this point I labeled Spohr as a dream killer. He just doesn’t want to have any fun. He was 100% right when talking about SIDS. I think that stuffed animals should avoid the crib at all cost. But I am a big fan of buying them for my son and have kept every stuff animal anyone has ever given us for Turner. To me they are memories. They are stories. I have two cases to back this up. For one, I am an adult, and until Turner was born, I still slept with the stuffed animal I got as a kid. It now hangs in Turner’s room, but it means a lot to me. And one day, one of Turner’s stuffed animals may do the same for him. Second, they are important gifts that may have more meaning later down the line. When my dad went to the hospital when my niece was born we stopped by the gift shop and he bought my niece a plush giraffe. My niece was not even born yet, but she already had a stuffed animal. My niece will be two at the end of this month. My dad passed away suddenly from cancer last April. My niece carries that stuffed animal every where now and is one of the few things she has from my dad, her grandpa. So they mean more than just a toy, you have to consider that. So in my book, these are top priority. 

10) Baby food maker

Spohr says,” Do you have a blender at home? If so, congratulations! You’ve already got a baby food maker.”

I could take this or leave it. I could argue that I shouldn’t make baby food in the same blender I make my Friday night margaritas. Something about that just doesn’t feel right. But then again, I don’t care for making baby food anyway. They eat baby food for maybe four months? Turner started at 6 months and at 9 months with two teeth he prefers more solid foods. It think this is a waste, but one of those things that just depends on the mother’s preference and baby’s habits. 

11) Cutesy Towels

Spohr says, “Believe it or not but the towels you already have will work every bit as well on a baby as ones with adorable animals on them.”

 I don’t think it matters so much if the towels are cute and decorated, but I admit I have lots of them and love them, but I think the important thing here is for babies to have different towels than adults. First, adults do not buy new towels often enough. I think they should be likes sheets and changed out monthly. Second, like lots of babies, my son has super sensitive skin, she he needs softer baby detergent, so his towels are washed separately than our towels. 

12) Changing table

 Sophr says,” Changing tables not only take up space, but there’s always the risk that a baby could fall from one. Many parents forgo them entirely and instead change their babies on a bed or the floor.”

Well, if you do not think the restrictions and confinement provided by a changing table is a MUST, please come try to change my son’s diaper. He is like a ninja and flips and turns and twists and its basically like trying to rope in a wild bull. I NEED a changing table. Plus, getting up and down off the floor while lifting a baby is awful for your back. That is a horrible idea. Next, most cribs and pack n’ plays have combo sets that include a changing table type area. 

13) A fancy pants stroller

Spohr says, “Would it be neat to be able to charge your phone on your stroller? Of course. But is it so cool that it’s worth spending an extra $500+? I don’t think so.”

Just the tone of this post screams “dad who wants to save money.” For me personally, I agree with this. While a stroller is a great registry item to ask for and a great gift to get someone, I have no need for a stroller. I don’t use it enough. But I do see the need and intent behind a stay-at-home mom or a mom who gets more free time with a baby to need a more equipped stroller. 

 14) Special detergent for babies  

Spohr says, “Instead of buying separate detergent for your baby, try a regular, “free and clear” brand. These don’t have any perfumes or dyes and are suitable for the whole family.” 

Like I said earlier, I need special detergent for the baby. And in my opinion the free and clear brand ends up costing the same as a small thing of baby detergent for Turner, which at 9 months old we still haven’t used all of the first bottle, and regular detergent for us. I like the smell good stuff we use for our clothes and because our friends and family rock, we watch Turner’s clothes like once a month because we have so many for him to wear. In my house, this is a MUST. 

15) A Diaper Genie

Spohr says, “A Diaper Genie does help to keep smells in check if you let your baby’s dirty diapers sit for a while, but if you toss them out every day (like most parents I know) you really don’t need one.”

 Well this guy is bananas. I do not know what I would do without our diaper genie. Where I live you do not take the trash out every day. You have weekly trips. So I am not about to let a dirty diaper sit in a trash can all week long. And the post says parents take their trash out every day… on what planet? Ain’t nobody got time for that!! The Diaper Genie IS on the top 10 things you need. It keeps the smell in, you don’t risk throwing away something in the regular trash and accidentally getting your hand in poop, and the diaper genie keeps the dogs away from the diaper. Not to mention that the diaper genie is in the nursery, by my changing table and diaper swing, so it is easier than setting a dirty diaper down, wrangling my wiggle worm, then wrapping it up and carrying it in the kitchen with baby in my arms. 

 16) Wipe warmer

Spohr says, “You may need one of these if you have a baby in the dead of winter in Minnesota, but for most parents this is an unnecessary expense.”

 I can’t argue this. I think this is cool and probably would have made diaper changing a little easier in my house, but I think it is a waste of money. Room temperature gets the job done. 

17) Pacifier Wipes

 Spohr says, “Instead of buying pack after pack of these it’s easier and more affordable to use a self closing pacifier when away from the home.”

I admit, I do not use pacifier wipes, but I can see how they are needed. Turner will only take one type of pacifier. It is a pacifier that had ridges on the end and that is just what he likes. He has never taken any other kind. They type he takes does not come in a self closing one. So he would need the wipes. Lucky for us, Turner only uses a paci at night and sometimes in the car to ride, so we don’t really run into this problem any way. But if we did, I think this would be a pretty great item to have on hand. 

18) Formula mixer

 Spohr says, “Shaking a baby bottle isn’t so hard that it’s worth spending $150 on a machine like this.”

 Meh, I could take this or leave it. I personally would never pay that much money for one, but I could see how it could be useful if you have multiple kids. It is easier, not to mention if you have ever had to scrap dried, matted formula off a table, you can appreciate the no-mess this would provide. Not a must, but could be handy! 

19) Designer baby clothes

Spohr says, “$98 for a onesie? $398 for a Dolce and Gabana dress? Forget it. Babies grow out of their clothes so fast that they may only wear that designer dress once. You’re better off shopping at Target, or Tar-jay if you want to be fancy.”

 I do not think a mother on this planet has ever said she needed these things. This is totally just for fun. I love dressing Turner up. It is part of being a momma. So I agree with Spohr that this is not needed, but I do not think anyone argues that it is. Another example of a dad trying to pinch a penny. 

20) Car Seat toys. 

This one was not on the BuzzFeed article, but might be the most legit thing you do not need and should not buy. I was guilty at first, of buy those connecting toys for the car seats, until I did a little research and found out how dangerous they are! Please, please, please do not put these on your car seat. For one, The carrying handle for the car seat is supposed to be behind the top of the seat, that is the safest way for a child to ride anyway. Putting toys on a car seat cancels out any warranty or protection you have in case of an accident and the car seat malfunctions. These toys are dangerous and are not worth the risk. 




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