Oh Baby! Product Overload, Part III: 10 Baby Items You Should Borrow

When I was putting the lists of things to buy or not buy together, my mama friends also told me there were things they bought they wished they hadn’t. And not because they weren’t great to have, because they were, but because the window of time the baby needs them is so short. Of course, you may be able to borrow most of your baby things anyway, but here’s the Mamaverse’s suggestions on what you should try to borrow instead of purchasing:

Snap N’ Go: Strhigh-chairoller for an infant carrier. Lift the baby out of the car seat base and into the stroller without unbuckling them from the infant carrier or waking them up. Obviously, only useful while they are still in the infant carrier (in my kid’s case, eight months.)

Excersaucer: Fun plastic play table with a seat in the middle for the baby. Useful about from 9-12 months, depending on your child’s temperament and size.

High Chair: Generally expensive, useful for a year or two, depending on your child. For my second we didn’t have a high chair when he started eating solids – we used a little seat with a tray that strapped onto our dining room chair. With my daughter this little plastic seat would have worked fine. But my son was so active he liked to face plant into the table, so we got a high chair with a five point harness instead.


Molded Plastic or Bumpo Seat: Helpful for when they need assistance sitting up, but that doesn’t last long. My son used ours for about a month and then he could sit on his own.

Playmat: This is useful for the first six or so months. As soon as they start rolling it becomes uninteresting to them.


Baby toys: Baby toys for the first few years of life don’t capture their interest long, because they are changing so quickly. A rattle is no longer interesting as soon as they can knock over blocks, and the blocks are uninteresting as soon as they can push a car around. So just borrow or trade toys with other mommies to keep them “new” and interesting, especially for young children.

Books: It is fun to read to your child (until they learn to walk and won’t sit still) but don’t feel you need to buy them. Cardboard ones or soft cloth ones are best for young babies. Babies like to eat books. Buy nice books when they’re old enough to listen and take care of the pages. And definitely, definitely read to your baby!

Baby scale: You may not need a baby scale if your infant is eating easily and gaining weight. But if they aren’t, these are good to have for your own mind’s sake – so you know they are gaining weight between doctor’s appointments. Bonus: you can weigh them at their monthly birthday to record in their baby book!

Swing: Swings are wonderful to have. My son wouldn’t sleep anywhere but his swing for a couple weeks. But he quickly outgrew it. As soon as he started pulling himself up on the mobile pieces that dangled over his head, I knew we were done. He also reached the weight limit very quickly.

Play yard or baby gates: These are great to have once your child is mobile, about the first year. But once they get too mobile or too big, they just start climbing on them. So the window of use is only a few months.


What did you buy that you wish you had borrowed?

Meg Sacks
Meg is a working mom of four and an avid community volunteer. She has worked in corporate communications and media relations for more than 18 years, for a Fortune 500 company as well as a non-profit. She took some time off to enjoy life as a stay at home mom after the birth of her first child in 2008. Her sweet, introverted daughter, was excited to welcome her baby brother in 2013, and then boy/girl twins joined the family in 2016. Meg finds being an “office mama” a constant balancing act and never-ending challenge but enjoys the opportunities it offers her for personal growth. A Virginia girl at heart, she loves Florida’s warm weather, the great quality of life Jacksonville offers her family.


  1. I have a 5-month old and the Bumbo seat has been a bust…for a while, his legs were too chubby to fit in it comfortably, and now he just doesn’t enjoy being in it and would rather sit in the high-chair if I’m working in the kitchen. Our jumperoo is the best $90 we’ve spent, and I also love our Chicco Liteway stroller frame (for the infant carrier)–worth its weight in gold since we travel frequently.

  2. The Bumbo was a waste of our money, too. My daughter never used it. We borrowed a bassinet from a friend and used it for the first 2.5 months before she outgrew it. It was great to have to wheel around the house and have next to our bed at night, but we had it for such a short period of time, I’m glad it was borrowed.


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