Having a baby can be one of the happiest and transformative moments in a parent's life, which is why many soon-to-be mothers and fathers break the bank when it comes to their first future "mini-me."
The average mom spent $4,294 from pregnancy through the baby's first year, 45 percent of which was spent before the baby was even born, according to the 2010 TheBump.com's third annual Pregnancy and Baby Study.
Elena Mauer, an editor at TheBump.com, said she recommends three Bs when it comes to shopping for your baby: borrow, bargain hunt, and buy in bulk. But parents should prioritize what is important for them.
"If you think it's important it may be ok to spend money but not all moms will feel that way," she said.
The danger is that many little purchases add up to a large amount.
"People buy a lot of toys for newborns but newborns don't play that much," she said. "Newborns eat, sleep and look around the house distinguishing things."
Here are seven other items Mauer and other mothers say parents can do without.
|Baby Wipe Warmer|
Mauer said most mothers who have used an appliance to warm up a baby wipe before cleaning a baby's bottom have said it is not worth the investment, which is around $20.
But she said some mothers have said they will do anything to help or prevent a crying baby who dislikes a cold wipe in the middle of the night.
"A basic warmer works just fine or you can an use hot water or microwave to warm up liquids," Shafer said.
Mauer said a solid wood bassinet can be beautiful, but if you are trying to save money, "it's not the way to go."
"Babies usually sleep in them for a matter of weeks because they're very small. We think babies can sleep in a crib from the get-go," she said.
If you really want a bassinet, Mauer recommends a play yard with a bassinet attachment. That can be used as a playpen when a baby gets older and can be folded up to use as a travel crib.
Or, if you buy a crib on wheels, you can wheel it into your room for the portability of a bassinet.
|Baby Bedding: Comforter and Bumper Pad|
Mauer said big bedding sets with a comforter and bumper pad are not necessary and she recommends not using a bumper pad at all because of a suffocation hazard.
"You just need a good fitted sheet, cozy pajamas and a good mattress," she said, as opposed to decorated bedding which can cost over a hundred dollars.
|Baby Food Makers|
Mauer said baby food makers, which promote natural home-made baby food, can cost a few hundred dollars
"They're very convenient. You can warm a baby's food and puree it all in one machine," she said. "But really, if you have a good food processor or blender you can make it yourself."
She said the appliances are convenient but not necessary.
|Fancy Baby Monitors|
Mauer said baby monitors can be important, though sometimes families in small apartments can survive without them, especially the fancier models that can cost upward of $200 or more, as opposed to the $40 variety.
"A lot of parents like to have them but you don't need video capability and all the other bells and whistles," she said. "A baby monitor that doesn't have interference is enough as long as you can hear your baby."
However, some mothers delight in being able to see their baby and know the temperature in the baby's room.
|Diaper Changing Tools and Equipment|
Shannon Shafer, mother of one in Philadelphia, said most diaper pails, garbage cans for diaper changing, go unused after the first few weeks of excitement over the newfangled gadget. Diaper pails often are marketed as special "deodorizing" garbage cans.
Shafer said the replacement bags for some diaper pails are "ridiculously expensive."
Shafer said parents should use a standard foot pedal trash can.
Many mothers have said changing tables can also be unnecessary, according to Shafer.
"Invest in a good changing pad," she said. "Most of the time, you won't be changing your child in the nursery anyway."
|Designer Clothes and Shoes|
Mauer said while baby clothing and shoes are adorable, they are only worn for a short time because babies grow rapidly, especially in the first year.
"Newborn baby shoes are probably worn for a matter of weeks," she said. "We recommend you stay away from designer clothes unless it is a must-have item for a special occasion."