Gold ShoesWhen you have a baby, people want to give you things. Lots of things. Things you think you need but you use once. But you can't say no to gifts. You don't want to be rude, right?

On top of what you are given, there is all the baby gear that you want. The deluxe strollers, adorable clothes, colorful toys and exersaucers -- it's easy to end up with a lot of baby stuff during the first year of your baby's life.

But what's really happening is a whole lot of clutter. Clutter that you don't need. Here are ways you can cut down on the baby clutter and make sure you have only what you really need:

  • Get the scoop from other moms friends on their most used items. Everyone's list is going to be different but in learning what worked for others you may find out what will work best for you. And who knows? Maybe they have a sweet jogging stroller in the garage they never use anymore and would like to lend it to you!
  • List your needs vs. wants: When you are tempted to buy that super cool but very expensive hand made mobile for the nursery, ask yourself if you want it or you need it? Focus on the essentials like your car seat, stroller, crib and diaper supplies. Purchase more items as you need them, not in anticipation of needing them. It's easier said then done, but it's possible.
  • Don't be afraid of exchanging baby gifts: Take back unwanted items that you received as gifts, and exchange them for wanted items that you really need. I also happen to think it's perfectly acceptable to re-gift a baby gift that you don't need if it's in good condition. After all, how many copies of Good Night Moon do you really need?
  • Be smart with clothes and sizes: Your baby will literally grow overnight, so skip the fancy designer duds and stick to the basics that will hold up well and tolerate a lot of rounds in the washing machine. You don't want all 0 to 3 months clothes because they will never wear them all before those three months are up (especially the fancy stuff, especially in the early days).

The good news is that no matter if you get sucked into buying too many things for your baby, you can't spoil them with all that love you give them every day.

Do you buy more things for your baby then you need? Do find it hard to figure out what you really should have versus what marketers want you to believe you have to buy?

 

Image via MarcinMoga / Lolek/Flickr