Are you overwhelmed with all the choices for baby gear on the market? It can be really hard to determine what you actually need.

As a mom of 3, I have a big passion for baby gear, and that’s why I compiled this list of the baby items you CAN live without. The last thing you will need is more stuff in your house. Read on to ensure you only get the items you actually need for your little one.

Please note, there are affiliate links in this post. Read my privacy & disclosure policy at the bottom of this page to learn more.

What Makes a Baby Item Unnecessary?

Several factors can render a baby item unnecessary, let’s take a look at what would make this the case.

  1. Limited usefulness: Items that have a very specific purpose and are only useful for a short period may not be worth the investment. For example, a specialized baby food maker might be unnecessary if you can achieve the same results with basic kitchen appliances.
  2. Space constraints: If the item takes up a lot of space and doesn’t offer significant benefits, it might not be worth keeping around. This is especially true for families with limited living space.
  3. Safety concerns: Some baby items may pose safety risks or have been recalled due to safety issues.
  4. Duplication of function: If you already have multiple items that serve the same purpose, adding another similar item may be unnecessary. For instance, having both a baby swing and a baby bouncer might be redundant.
  5. Cost vs. value: Consider whether the cost of the item justifies its usefulness and longevity. Some baby items can be quite expensive but only used for a short period, making them a poor value for money.
  6. Parenting style: Every parent has different preferences and parenting styles. What works for one family may not work for another.

Ultimately, the necessity of a baby item depends on individual circumstances, preferences, and priorities. Keep this in mind when you evaluate each item based on its usefulness, safety, and cost before deciding whether it’s necessary for your family.

List of Baby Items You Can Live Without & Why

Now that you know what to look for when deciding if a baby item would be essential for your family, let’s take a look at my personal list for baby items you can definitely live without.

1 – Wipe Warmer

Although a wipe warmer might make your baby more comfortable, it can create pretty inconvenient situations when you are out and about. First of all, you definitely don’t need a wipe warmer to efficiently clean up during diaper changes.

Second, if your baby is used to warm wipes and you don’t have access to this when you travel or on the go, this will make for a very cranky baby at diaper change time.

2 – Wipe Holder

You can just buy baby wipes that come in their own wipe holder container (see example above). It saves you money and it’s one less item you have to worry about purchasing.

>>Learn how many baby wipes and diapers you need!<<

3 – Diaper Stacker

Personally, I preferred to store some diapers on the top of the dresser for easy access during diaper changes. The rest can be stored in the box they come in, either in a closet or in dresser drawers. A diaper stacker will take up extra space that is better suited for baby clothes or other baby items.

4 – Changing Table

You can set up a changing pad on top of a short dresser in the nursery, instead of getting a changing table that will take up precious real estate in your home. Additionally, if you will be getting a Pack ‘N Play you can get one that comes with a diaper changing area. The diaper change area can be used in the first 3-6 months of your baby’s life.

5 – Diaper Pail

A diaper pail is definitely an optional item. If you don’t want the smell of poopy diapers, they do a decent job of covering it up. But, you can definitely opt to put diapers in your normal trash and just take it out when it gets stinky.

6 – Diaper Bag

While a diaper bag might be convenient because it has space dedicated for diapers and bottles, it is not necessary. You can just use a backpack you already own instead and it will do its job.

7 – Bottle Warmer

Warm up bottles in a pint glass full of hot water from your sink. Or you can make formula on demand using room temperature water. A bottle warmer might be convenient to have on hand, but it’s definitely a baby item you can live without.

>>Get tips on how to warm bottles on the go!<<

8 – Bottle Drying Rack

You can dry bottles on a kitchen towel or a drying rack you already own. You might find it convenient to have a dedicated space for drying baby bottles, but it’s definitely not something you absolutely need.

9 – Formula Machine Mixer

It is very easy to make formula manually, especially when you start doing it multiple times per day. A formula machine is absolutely not necessary. I would consider it a luxury baby item.

10 – Crib Bedding (Besides Fitted Sheets)

It is recommended that while babies are in cribs (this includes the toddler years) that they only have a fitted sheet over the mattress. That means no blankets or pillows. Instead you can use swaddles and sleep sacks to keep your baby warm.

11 – Crib Bumpers

Crib bumpers have been proven to be dangerous – yes even the “breathable” versions. These are not safe and should not be used in a crib. I do not know why you can still purchase them.

12 – Nursery Glider Chair

While this might be a nice to have item for the nursery, a glider nursery chair is definitely a baby item you can live without. Often newborns stay in their parents room for the first few months of their life, when night feeds are much more necessary anyway.

13 – Crib Mobile

A crib mobile might be a fun addition for your little one. It can provide entertainment and soothing sounds, but it’s not needed to create an ideal sleeping environment for your baby.

14 – Baby Swing

Baby swings take up a lot of space, even the “slim” ones pictured above. It is also not a necessary item. As long as you have a crib for your baby to sleep in and potentially a bassinet or playard, that’s all you will need.

15 – Pacifier Clips & Wipes

You can buy clips that will attach pacifiers to your baby’s clothes or to the car seat. These might be helpful, but they are not absolutely needed.

The same goes for pacifier wipes. These are wipes you can use to clean a pacifier after it falls on the ground. Experienced parents will tell you that babies end up putting all sorts of things in their mouth and you can’t keep track of it all.

To clean a pacifier at home, just rinse in warm water and add a little dish soap if needed. I usually washed pacifiers at the of the day with bottles in hot, soapy water.

30 baby items that are not needed.

16 – Bassinet

The only baby sleep device you absolutely need is a crib. Eventually, your baby will grow out of a bassinet around 3 months old.

Bassinets are pretty useful, especially if you want your newborn to sleep next to your bed at night. However, a crib or playard (aka Pack ‘N Play) could be used as well.

17 – Baby Monitor

Like most items on this list, a baby monitor is an item of convenience. It can be super helpful to see how if your baby is sleeping, but it is not absolutely needed.

18 – Sound Machine

Sound machines play white noise and other soothing sounds. Their intent is to remind babies of the womb in order to help them fall and stay asleep. A sound machine is nice to have, but it still falls in the category of a baby item you can live without.

19 – Baby Shoes

Babies don’t stand up and start walking until around 1 year-old. Baby shoes are cute, but they are not needed until your baby is walking. Just socks or bare feet are appropriate, depending on the season.

20 – Baby Bath Tub

As a newborn you can actually bathe your baby in the kitchen sink. Then, once your baby can sit up on his or her own, you will not have a use for a baby bath tub any longer. It’s a matter of deciding if you will be more comfortable using a baby bath tub or think you can get by without it.

21 – Baby Bath Towels & Washcloths

If you want to save money, just use your normal bath towels and washcloths on your baby. The only caveat is that baby bath towels tend to be softer. Additionally, they are more appropriate for the size of a baby.

22 – Bath Thermometer

Use your fingers to determine if the bath water temperature is comfortable. No need for a thermometer, just make sure you check it before putting your baby in the bath water.

23 – Baby Carrier

This is an item that can be very convenient to have, but it’s not a baby item you must have in order to properly care for a baby. Personally I never liked my baby carrier anyway, but some parents swear by them.

24 – Bouncer Chair

Bouncers provide a spot to safely put your baby down, but you do not need one. Laying out a blanket for your little one to lay on can do the trick too.

25 – Play Mat

Play mats can provide plenty of entertainment for babies, but just as mentioned above you can use a baby blanket with some baby toys instead.

26 – Floor Seat

This can be a fun item for your baby to a get different view of things, but it’s not something you will need in order to properly care for your little on.

27 – Car Seat Mirror

A car seat mirror is used to see your baby while you are driving, since they have to sit facing backwards. They can be convenient, but are not needed.

28 – Car Seat Cover

A car seat cover can provide privacy and extra protection from the outside environment, while your baby is in their infant car seat. Typically, you would use this when the car seat is being carried or installed in a stroller. I never personally used them and they are definitely a baby item you can skip.

29 – Cart Cover

Once your baby can sit up on his or her own, you can opt to get an insert to cover the carts at grocery stores. I recommend just wiping this area down, it’s much easier.

30 – Baby Laundry Detergent

I will admit that I love the smell of Dreft – the most popular baby laundry detergent. However, you can just use a free and gentle detergent from any brand, rather than one made specifically for babies.

Printable Baby Items You Can & Can’t Live Without Checklist

Now you know which baby items you can live without. But, there still might be some items on the list above that you decide to get for their convenience.

To make these decisions easier, go ahead and grab a FREE printable baby registry checklist by filling in the form below. It details exactly which items are must haves and which ones are optional to help clear up the mystery.


If you are looking to save space and money, don’t include the above baby items that you can live without on your baby registry.

I hope you found the list above helpful in understanding which baby gear is not absolutely necessary. It’s important to save money and space as your prepare for the arrival of a new baby. Plus, you don’t want to get things you just don’t end up using. Good luck!

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