6 ‘stupid’ things new parents don’t need to buy – and 4 they should
By Aimee Heckel
Nicole Knepper isn’t afraid to say the things we’re all thinking — or at least the things we think we shouldn’t be thinking.
Like, the five things she doesn’t want for Mother’s Day. (Hint: chore coupons. Do it anyway. It’s your job to do these a tasks, not a gift to Mom.)
Yeah. She went there. And this kind of unapologetic, yet somehow totally endearing, honesty has garnered her a major online following, not to mention a big book deal through Penguin publishing. Her book, Moms Who Drink and Swear, was released last month (find it at Barnes and Noble for $10.98, online at Amazon.com and at many indie bookstores nationwide).
A few years ago, Knepper started a Facebook group just for her friends, Moms Who Drink and Swear. Maybe it was the clever name — or Knepper’s voice, or her stories, or all three — but the group blew up, and now has more than 259,000 followers.
We decided to tap into her comedic genius for a bit of advice for all you new moms out there, and, during a recent phone interview, Knepper filled us in on her list of the six stupid things new parents don’t need to waste their money — or gift registries — on.
1. A baby monitor. And for God’s sake, don’t get the camera monitor. You are going to hear the baby anyway. You’re going to be at the grocery store five miles away and you’re going to hear the baby. There’s never going to be a time that you don’t hear the baby. Period. The end.
Unless you’re taking sleeping pills and sleeping on a different floor in a giant house.
2. The Diaper Genie. In the beginning, it’s great. You have these tiny diapers on teeny, tiny butts. Just itty-bitty things. You put the diapers in the genie and swirl it and the diaper’s gone. And then you blink your eyes and you have a Diaper Genie that holds maybe three bigger diapers, and you wish you put the Beer of the Month Club on your registry instead.
3. Fancy crib bedding. Don’t do it. You’re going to pay so much money for beautiful sheets and a bumper, and then the whole time, you’re going to hope your kid doesn’t suffocate on the bumper. And then there’s the throw up. You won’t care what the baby’s room looks like. And half the time, they’ll be sleeping in the car seat or swing or on your bed next to you. Fancy crib bedding is a waste of money. Donate that money to a starving child in Guatemala instead and move on.
4. A set of specific bottles. Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket with the bottles or pacifier, because you will lose. You will lose! It’s a losing battle.
I registered for a specific baby bottle, based on the fact that I saw my friend using it, and my son wanted nothing to do with it. He liked the flat Playtex ribber nipples, and here I had $100 in Avent bottles. Don’t register for a basket of the same bottle. Register for one of a couple of different kinds and see what your baby likes.
5. Cute clothes. Everyone and their dog is going to get you a cute outfit, and you will never get your kid into all of these outfits before they grow out of them, and that will make you mad. You think you’ll sell it at resale and make money, but then they’ll (have an accident) in it while you’re busy emptying the Diaper Genie.
6. Baby toys. Your kid doesn’t care about the rattle. He’s going to go after the ceiling fan or the dog’s tail or the potato chip that fell on the floor when you were binge-eating at 3 a.m. You’re better off waiting and taking your baby with you to Babies R Us, and let them grab something off the shelf. See what they don’t throw out of the stroller and then buy that.
Knepper’s four things new parents should register for instead:
1. One million burp clothes and towels. At least a million.
2. Laundry detergent. Lots of it. If someone had just given me a case of laundry detergent, at first I would have thought, “What a terrible gift.” Until one minute later.
3. Baby clothes that aren’t fashionable, snappy and hard to manage. Basically, lots of sleep sacks.
4. Membership to a wine of the month club.
Finally, as a first-time parent, Knepper says you should expect to make mistakes — and get a ton of unwanted advice, of course. Amid all of the stress and Diaper Genies and gimmicks that we’ll never use, she says, we’re all just trying to do our best.
“But we learn quickly,” she says. “We have to.”
You might also enjoy: