When you’re creating a baby registry, it's important to keep in mind that there are some items that your baby will outgrow before she is even half a year old. That’s not to say that you won’t need them. I regularly used all 5 of the items below during the first six months or so of my daughter’s life. But by seven months, I found that each one had become absolutely unnecessary.
1. Baby bouncer seat
A friend gave me this bouncer from Target, and I liked putting Emma in it because it gave her a chance to “sit up” and look around during the day. Babies spend a lot of time on their backs, and I think Emma enjoyed being able to see what was going on. She used this until about 5 months, until she started trying to sit up on her own.
2. Bath support
We got this baby bath support on Amazon.com, and I LOVE it! It sits in your regular tub and provides excellent support for newborns. We started using this with Emma from her very first tub-bath, and only recently stopped (around 7 months.)
3. Baby swing
Some parents swear by it. Others say their baby hate it. Emma was indifferent. We got this swing as a hand-me-down, and Emma would lie in it sometimes, but didn’t seem thrilled by it. Still, I can’t bring myself to get rid of it. What if it’s the only thing that will calm my second baby down? Either way, baby swings are only designed to hold babies up to a certain weight and can become dangerous once they learn to scoot around and start trying to escape. Emma used hers until about 4 months.
4. The Rock-n-Play
Emma developed RSV when she was only 3 weeks old, and our doctor told us that she should sleep “sitting up” for as long as possible to help with fluid drainage. We bought this one on Craigslist for $15 and used it every night until Emma was 4 months old. It fit perfectly beside our bed, and Emma had no problems transitioning to her crib when it was time (although I’ve heard that some babies do have trouble with this transition…)
5. Activity gym and play mat
Emma loved this playmat that we got from Target until about 5 months when she started trying to sit up on her own. Still, it was worth it for those few months when these hanging toys would occupy her for an entire dinner-prep!
So what to do? My suggestion is to make sure you have space in storage for each of these items before you ever buy them. That way, when your baby outgrows them, you'll have a spot ready to set them aside until the next baby comes, and you won't have a meltdown when you realize that your entire house is being taken over by baby-clutter. :)
What if you have absolutely no room to store these items between babies? First of all, they’re not all entirely necessary. Of the 5, I used the rock-n-play the most, followed by the baby bath tub. I probably could have gotten away without the swing, bouncer, and play mat, but it really depends on your baby’s preferences. If you don't have room to store these items in between uses, I would go one of two routes:
1. Buy these items on Craigslist inexpensively, and donate or sell them when you’re done. Repeat for each baby. It sounds silly, but all five of these things are readily available to buy used. It’s easy to buy each one in very good condition for very little money.
2. (And I think this is the best option) BORROW these items from a friend with a toddler! They’ll be glad for the extra space in their house, and you can give them back when you’re done with them- hopefully just in time for your friend to use them with their next baby. ;)