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Your new bundle of joy is here and you look around at all the stuff you got from your baby shower. Completely overwhelmed, you ask yourself, “Do I really need that?”

Looking back, I can personally say there were definitely baby essentials that we needed for daily living but there were also items that sat untouched, taking up valuable real estate.

“Choose one bouncer or swing, and try a friend’s out first,” said Taylor Glascock, local mommy of three under 3. “Baby may not like either one, and then you're out floor space and money!”

If possible, save money and buy secondhand. Local consignment shops and online yard sales are where I found most baby items in like-new condition.

Our must-have item was a travel swing. My eldest loved his swing; it was perfect for my small house since it folded up when not in use and was small enough to use when traveling. My other must-have item for my youngest was a baby carrier/sling; having my hands-free was essential.
Other space-saving essentials are a space-saver high chair that attaches to a regular chair, a bath support/sling instead of a bulky bath tub and a pack ‘n play instead of a bassinet. “Get one with sleeping area at the top and use it as a changing table, for naps and then as a play pen when the baby gets older,” said local mom April Langiu.

“Two things I swear by that a lot of people deem unnecessary are a video monitor and motion sensor pads,” stated Glascock. Video monitors don’t need to be expensive. I never had one with my eldest, but I swear by it for my youngest. I bought mine on Amazon for less than $100.

When I polled mommies, what popped up on every list as unnecessary were the following:

• A separate changing table. You can change baby anywhere.
• Crib bedding sets. While they are cute, you can’t use the bumper or comforter anyway.
• Wipe and bottle warmers. Many times you are out and about and baby just needs to adjust.

Rebecca Hunt, local mommy of three, said, “What is not necessary in my opinion is all the fancy stuff. Babies aren’t babies for long so don’t waste the money!” I found if I just turned on the ceiling fan, my son was mesmerized.

Each baby/sibling is different so use what works for your family. These are merely suggestions from veteran mommies to help you save time, space and money.

Click here for FredParent’s guide to consignment shops.

Nikki Ducas is a Fredericksburg mom teaching her two young sons that “new to you” is cool.

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