Bumbo just recalled four million of their massively popular baby seats after receiving at least 50 reports of infants falling from the seats, with 19 of those falls resulting in skull fractures. Apparently, you can obtain a repair kit to fix the issue. However, to us here at Inhabitots, it brings up a way more pressing question – do you really need all this baby junk? First of all, Bumbo is made with plastic, meaning made with a non-renewable resource.  Secondly, because it’s plastic, this baby seat will still be around, languishing in a landfill 1,000 years from now.  1,000 years, by the way, is a conservative estimate. Yikes. It’s not just Bumbo either. How many baby products get tossed into a landfill do you think? What happens to all those broken down baby monitors, sippy cups, ripped baby quilts and disposable diapers? They sit, and sit and sit in landfills – maybe forever. In fact, even if you’re using so-called biodegradable baby products, you’re kind of screwed. A 2001 excavation of landfills across North America found hundreds of undecomposed hot dogs, corn starch and lettuce dating back to the 1960s, along with 2,425 newspapers – still readable – that were used to date the food. When organic matter isn’t decomposing in the landfill, how easily do you think that “biodegradable” diaper will?

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Image by Flickr User LizMarie_AK

Parents Buy Too Much Stuff – Cut Back!

This recall is good if you use it to your advantage. Most parents buy way too much stuff which is detrimental to kids and doesn’t add up to a green lifestyle. Use this recall to remind you that not all baby products are a super keen buy. Although, yes, you can cleverly reuse your now recalled Bumbo, why bother? Why not just buy less baby gear in the first place? You’ll save money, cut back on resources and help preserve the planet for your child’s future kids. Before you purchase any baby item, ask yourself the following…

  1. Does my baby need it?
  2. Can I afford it?
  3. Will I use it?
  4. Do I already have something that will work just as well?
  5. Can I borrow it or buy it used?
  6. Is it non-toxic and safe for your baby and the planet?
  7. Is it recyclable at the end of its life?
  8. DOES MY BABY NEED IT! Seriously, I only restate this to remind you – will the kid die without it? No. Pass.

Some stuff you need for sure. For example, if you own a car, and put your baby in said car, you 100% need a baby car seat, no matter how much plastic is in the darn seat. That said, babies need very little to survive and thrive. Personally, I never owned a baby crib (we co-slept), a baby monitor, a changing table, a walker or excessive clothing or toys, and guess what? My son totally survived. He didn’t crash and burn because I couldn’t hear him on the baby monitor. I never rolled over on him while co-sleeping, smashing the little bugger and trust me, he liked the laundry basket better than all the toys the relatives heaped on him. You really don’t need much to raise a happy, healthy babe. Keep reading to see more useless baby gear you’ll probably never need.

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Image by Flickr User RBerteig

Useless Baby Items You’ll Never Need

To cut back on useless, disposable baby gear, really think about each purchase carefully before you make it. Consider not having a gift-minded baby shower, because those are killers when it comes to useless stuff. If you do have a baby shower with gifts, register wisely. Below are even more baby items you won’t need.

  • Top ten items you’ll never need for your baby
  • Baby food – babies can drink breast milk then eat your food.
  • Homemade baby food maker – use your blender or a pot and fork.
  • Baby monitor – do you live in a mansion and/or ignore your child? Nope? Then you don’t need one. Babies cry LOUDLY.
  • Nanny cams – do a reference check and don’t hire weirdos.
  • Tons of clothing – you’ll be surprised how fast babies grow out of stuff.
  • Baby comforters and other crib bedding – Not safe or useful.
  • Baby clothes hangers – are you kidding me. New parents are WAY too tired to hang clothes.
  • Diaper stacker – totally useless.
  • Baby wipes – make your own.
  • Baby-sized furniture – like say, the Bumbo. The floor works great for kids.
  • Baby specific nursery decor – if you buy a frilly baby lamp, it’s useless later on. Purchase nursery items that will grow with your child so they’re appropriate for a toddler or older kid.
  • Baby dishes – somewhat useful, but not necessary. Older babies can learn to drink from a real cup, eat on a real plate and use smaller silverware. I suggest pottery style dishes, which don’t knock over easily and adults can use them too.
  • A sleep positioner – simply put your baby to sleep on her back. The FDA notes that there are zero anti-SIDS products approved on the market, so avoid them.
  • Baby specific hamper – buy an inexpensive normal sized adult hamper.
  • Baby water or baby juice – babies need breastmilk or a good formula.
  • Baby powder and other baby body care – babies have died from inhaling baby powder. As for body care, mamas should use non-toxic soap too, if you’ve got some, it’s fine for baby.
  • Holiday gifts galore for tots under one year – mark occasions with a small gift if you like, but frankly, babies don’t care.
  • Nonsensical items – like a Temperature Bath Ducky. Can you not feel how hot bath water is?

What other items do you think babies can live without?

Lead image by Flickr User USCPSC