It might be easy to think that getting frugal will sort of come naturally once kids come along.
For me, it was like, well I’m going to care all about this little baby now depending on me, so I won’t care so much about shopping for myself anymore – and think of the savings!
But providing adorable clothes, gear, and toys for both yourself in your new role as a mom and for your little ones can sort of feel like a necessary part of the experience, once you’re actually living it.
You may tell yourself you’ll stick to the clothing necessities and live using only hand-me-downs from family, only to find yourself absolutely NEEDING the trendiest pair of PJs on the block. Okay, like 7 pairs of them…
Instagram and other social media really have a way of making these trends spread, too. It’s yet another venue (that is almost always right in front of our captivated faces) for showing us all the pretty new products we just need, or would really like anyway, either because they seem like they’d be really practical and helpful, they look comfortable or fun, or we think we’d just be sort of proud to have them.
I bet everyone finds themselves splurging on a few items with questionable practicality, especially while navigating life as a new mom.
I know I did!
Although I tried to be pretty practical, here are 20 super impractical (but adorable) products I and other moms only kind of regret buying.
20 Just Use A Grocery Bag…
I obsessed for a while – it was either when I was really pregnant or when my first baby was still just a newborn – over something I found at Amazon.com.
I’m guessing it was probably “suggested” (read: advertised) to me, based on all the baby and pregnancy stuff I had recently been looking at and buying.
But in any case, I had myself convinced that we totally needed it.
It was a little pretend grocery bag with an entire little collection of fake food so that my little tot could have fun doing some pretend shopping, or well, bagging I guess.
What exactly is so ridiculous about this?
You could just use a regular grocery bag. And, like, any small items that you already have around the house.
19 That Soothing Motion, And iPhone Compatible!
The mamaRoo just looks so high-tech and space-age, doesn’t it?
And I actually had an almost really good reason for splurging on one.
I had noticed that for babies who spent some time apart from their parents in the hospital nursery, the staff there had a small collection of these things going, with the tiny babies sleeping soundly amid that gliding, rocking, swirling motion.
And so I convinced myself that I did, in fact, really need to buy one to prepare to start working from home again after the birth of my second baby.
The problem? A 3- or 4-month old is quite a bit more wakeful than a newborn, and while this thing was fun for a few minutes at a time, it absolutely did not buy me any peaceful / quiet time to get work done.
It looks great though, right?
18 The Fanciest Of Pants
Ya know, rather expensive, super-trendy KickeePants, which are sold in posh baby boutiques everywhere, are not actually impractical.
What some may see as impractical about the soft and sweet PJs and other clothing is that you could get something to do the same job for a LOT less money.
I know adults who refuse to spend that much on one item of clothing for themselves.
Back when I was pregnant, though, if that onesie with a dessert embroidered onto the bottom flap wasn’t in my possession minutes after I saw it, I would surely pine after it forever after.
Then I realized how soft and easy to get on and off these one-pieces were, and I put in an order for more…
They fall apart more quickly than other baby clothes after similar wear and washing, but dang they’re cute.
17 An Excuse To Buy Jewelry!
It’s bright! It’s colorful! It’s cartoonish!
And you can wear it around your neck (or on your wrist, if it’s one of many available styles of bracelets), proclaiming to the world boldly, “I am MOM!”
I got my first teething necklace when I was pregnant with my first, long before I would actually have a baby in my arms who needed something to keep occupied or soothe gums sprouting new teeth.
Although it was only a handful of times, if that, that we actually used the teething jewelry for its intended purpose, my collection just sort of grew.
Well, I had to have the matching bracelet!
And then they came out with rainbow ones…
16 The Coolest Kicks
Look around in communities where the middle class or wealthy people are having babies these days, and you will notice a trend bordering on mass obsession.
Freshly Picked brand baby moccasins have exploded during the last few years, right during the time that I happened to be having my first two babies…
Luckily, the ones I’ve splurged on have been used and then used again by a second child. I tell myself that to make myself feel better about how much I shelled out to obtain them.
I mean, I do love the things, and my two tots have found them easy to get on and off, comfortable, and cute, along with the rest of the world…
15 That Colorful Clip
I have never used a pacifier with either of my two babies so far.
Why, then, do I own an adorable, colorful, name-brand pacifier clip purchased at the trendiest baby boutique downtown?
First of all, it was just so cute!
And then also, I convinced myself that I could use it with my teething baby, attaching a toy to its free end rather than a pacifier so that one would always be handy in the car or stroller, to keep my little one occupied and provide something soothing to gnaw on for a while.
By the teething age, though, my baby could so easily yank the clip off that it never, ever served this intended purpose.
She did like demanding that I reattach it over and over and over again though…
14 For The Budding Musician
Happily, this rather pricey item was actually handed down to me by a beloved family member with children who had outgrown toys for this age group.
I believe they said something like, “You can decide whether you want this one or not…”
See, it’s a PIANO.
Pianos are LOUD.
Also, the itty-bitty toy ones, fancy and impressive though they are, are not often exactly in tune.
And so, to your little one’s delight, a series of bangs on those ivories will produce such a massively discordant sound that they may just never want to stop…
I guess one person’s definition of “fun” is bound to differ from another’s.
13 An Entire Box Of Annoying
Oh, man. I was really excited about this one.
I think it was carefully selected, even, as the main gift we’d be giving my first baby for Christmas or some other holiday.
This Melissa & Doug stuff just looks so classically cute and because it’s made of wood, it feels nicer and like it will last so much longer than all the rest of the plastic stuff out there.
And of course having called myself a musician in various capacities at various times of my life, from playing for years in a symphony to singing in garage band, I had to let my own offspring experiment with rhythm and sound and generally rock out.
Once it was actually in my house, I realized it was way too easy for my tot to trip right near those sharp corners, and also that it was quite large altogether, and also very, very noisy.
It lives hidden away in the hall closet now.
12 With Itty Bitty Buttons
I keep telling myself to be more careful about the closures of the various baby clothes I end up buying, but do I actually follow my own advice? Nah.
First of all, adorable little dresses and button-up shirts look classically cute, and what a way to outfit your tot for a special occasion, a photoshoot, or just being the most dapper little dude at the library story time that day.
But it’s hard enough to dress babies as it is, and then you throw in all those teeny, tiny buttons…
Plus, did anyone else ever worry about those buttons being yanked off and becoming a choking hazard?
11 Nostalgia In Foot Form
Now, jellies for babies and little girls are everywhere again.
You can buy high-end ones with popsicles on the toes. You can get them on sale down at the mall. There are jelly Mary Janes, classic buckle sandals, and slides.
Well when they first started to show up everywhere a few years ago, it was also when I was pregnant with my first little one.
I did not at all stop to think about the fact that it probably wouldn’t be comfortable or at all practical to put these things on a tiny, pudgy little foot.
They were just so pink! And glittery! And so much like the ones I envied when I was little girl…
Swear, I’ve noticed a few big chain stores even scent the things like candy to make them even more tempting…
10 Matching Mommy And Me
What did we want for my second baby’s birthday?
No doubt about it – I already had all the correct sizes loaded into my shopping cart online in a tab that I made sure to keep open, just in case…
I needed, more than anything else at the time, three pairs of matching shoes: one pair for me, one for my toddler, and one for my baby.
They came in matching prints!!!
I mean, common! How cute is that?
Plus, my toddler had already quickly outgrown her pair of our first matching set…
My baby ended up wearing hers about three or four times before they became too small.
9 Bling For Baby
You know when you walk into a baby boutique and suddenly find all this stuff you really need for your little one?
I’m really good at doing that.
One such thing, when a holiday was coming up, at least, was the littlest of bracelets.
If I’m totally honest, I think I’d noticed other moms outfitting their tiny tots with somewhat similar jewelry designed to be worn on the tiniest of wrists.
With little pink pearls and an adjustable clasp, I envisioned this item being a treasured and special possession for my little one starting as soon as I gave it to her and lasting far into the future.
Yeah, even at a snug settling, she could tug it off (and I imagine easily lose it) right away, so now it sits in my own jewelry box.
8 Furniture Destined To Be Trashed
There was something about dark wood that was just really appealing to me.
And I didn’t know that the plastic variety of high chair, which was much, much more affordable, would be so much easier to clean and use and so much more comfortable…And so we registered for the one made of real wood and varnished in a lovely dark hue.
It may not have been all that comfortable, and the pad and straps may have constantly (frustratingly) slipped down during mealtime (and while getting the baby in and out each time…), but it sure was good at… collecting chunks of dried baby cereal that could never, ever be scrubbed off.
7 Stylish Shades
If you ask me, there is just something adorably hilarious about a baby wearing tiny sunglasses.
What an adult accessory for such a tiny person!
But moms tell themselves, I know, that they are actually quite practical. It’s bright out there!
What a great idea to block those harsh and harmful rays!
I mean, yeah, good luck trying to convince your baby to actually leave them on for more than five seconds in a row, but still…
I told myself it was OK because the ones I finally ended up buying were not too expensive to start with and already on an extreme summer sale.
So it didn’t matter that they got dropped onto the sidewalk within a week of bringing then home.
6 For The Bathing Beauty
I don’t know how, but I have somehow (still) resisted buying an adorable little bikini or one-piece for my little ones.
Although I’m a beach babe forever, for life, and we spend a decent amount of time doing water-related activities, the practical side of me knows that I need things like sun-protective rash guards for my little loves, not strappy suits with the sweetest of decorations.
I had one in my hand the other day in a baby store… It was on sale and looked like the stuff of vintage poolside dreams… but I resisted the temptation and put it back on the rack, knowing that the arm-covering hand-me-downs we already had were plenty already.
I see parents putting their babies in these ALL the time, though. Must be a lot of time applying sunscreen!
5 Petite Poodle In A Petite Purse
A certain group of the items I’m mentioning here today are in a special category of mom shopping ridiculousness known as the “I’m pregnant with my second baby and so feel I have a need to spoil my first child a bit before their sibling is born” items.
I wasn’t ever one to just buy a new toy for my first baby whenever we passed by a toy store (or were in a drugstore or grocery store… or ANY store.. man, they sell tempting stuff for kids everywhere…).
One afternoon when we had a special outing together, just the two of us, I thought yes… YES. This is what we need.
It was a tiny stuffed poodle that came in an equally tiny plush purse. (I’ve noticed similar toys for sale at every touristy place I’ve ever been lately.)
How adorable, to see her carrying that around!
A little less adorable when she got frustrated that she couldn’t easily get the doggy in and out herself each time… and so it fell on me to be ON that or else…
4 Hair Accessories For The Bald
To this day, carefully laid out on top of my own dresser, is a small (OK, maybe not that small) collection of hair accessories for the tiniest of heads.
I resisted the temptation for so long, but then my first baby was going to be a flower girl in our friends’ wedding, and every flower girl needs a headband to complement her froofy and glittering dress, right?
We now have headbands themed to various holidays, to match our mommy-and-me outfits, clippies in a rainbow of styles and colors, and more.
My older child is only JUST starting to actually leave any of these in for any amount of time, and now actually has enough hair to justify needing a hair clip or band…
My baby likes the idea of them but is weirded out by having something in her hair, so gets into what I call the “yes-no” game of making me put them in and then tearing them out over and over again.
3 Hold Onto That Hat
Especially if you live somewhere beachy or sunny, I bet you can probably identify with this one.
How adorable is it to have a tiny baseball cap or trucker hat for your little baby?
And hey – sun protection! That’s always good.
I had my first little one well trained to wear hats any time she was outside, just like her mother dearest, and so letting her graduate from a tie-one wide-brimmed cotton hat to her very own little hat with a bill was actually pretty easy. And it sort of became her trademark around town. I love that the stiff bill doesn’t bend up with each breeze and so actually shades her face.
So, of course, we decided her younger sibling needed one, too! The problem is, since it doesn’t have a strap or tie to keep it on, it’s a breeze for baby to grab it right off.
2 A Mighty Pricey Mobile
There is just something about decorating the nursery that makes some women go wild for cutesy matching items.
Even I, somewhat reasonable and practical thus far when it comes to home décor, decided that one item we could not live without was an adorable mobile to hang above my baby’s crib.
It had to match perfectly the chosen theme for the rest of the room, of course, too.
I believe it cost something like half of what was charged for the actual mattress.
A necessary item? Um, no.
But something about it is just so classic baby nursery.
You don’t get to use the things often or long, in my experience.
You want your baby to associate the crib with sleep, not being awake and stimulated by flying woodland creatures overhead.
Then, once they can stand and grasp, it needs to be stored away for safety reasons.
1 Couture Bags For Clean Up Duty
I love my diaper bag. OK, fine, my diaper bags.
I was all about having my baby on a budget. I could surely use one of the many large tote bags I already had in my closet to pack along diapers, wipes, extra clothes, snacks, and other basic mom necessities.
But then I came across that brand of bags that was so eye-catchingly cute it was the stuff of my fashion-loving-mom dreams…
And the glorified purses even boasted super practical features, such as backpack straps for easy carrying and fold-out changing pads that could zip right back up against the bag again… And the bottle pockets…! Love.
Did I need this bag? Um, no.
Did I need more than one of them, and the matching wallets? Probably not.