The anticipation of a new baby is terribly exciting, especially if it’s your first. There are also a lot of things to be done before your little one makes its way into the world – so glad you’ve got nine months, right? Decorating the nursery, stocking up on essentials, and going to doctors appointments are just a few of the things an expectant mom may do to prepare for a baby. One big task in particular is the baby registry. Just like your wedding registry, it’s your chance to create the ultimate wish list and possibly have most (if not all) of those wishes fulfilled. Most of the time there’s a struggle in deciding what things you want and what things you actually need. I know when I created my baby registry, I registered for a TON of things in my excitement, and then went back later and pared everything down.
There are a lot of things to register for on a baby registry – especially if you try to be proactive and register for things you’ll need beyond the first six months like utensils and larger size diapers. Most of these things are essentials – babies are very needy human beings! However, there are a few things that really aren’t necessary to register for. The seven items listed below are ones that are typically listed on a baby registry checklist but are not necessary for your child and may simply clutter up your baby registry. We’ve made it through our LO’s first year of life without any of these items, and I’ve never found myself wishing I had registered for any of them in retrospect. Also, if you do find you just can’t live without these items, you can always use one of your gift cards you’ve received to go out and purchase one! If you’re only going to receive 70% of the items on your registry (a typical percentage for registry fulfillment), wouldn’t you rather it be the items you really need (pacifiers, bottles, diapers) than ones you could do without? Check out the list below to pare down your registry so your shower guests will get you the items you and your little one really need!
Crib Bedding Set
One of the most common instructions I heard throughout my baby research and baby care class when preparing for my little one’s arrival was that the crib should be absolutely free of all blankets, toys, stuffed animals, etc. when baby is laid down to sleep. This is because SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) seems to be linked to having items in a crib while baby is sleeping, though doctors still don’t actually know what causes it. Nevertheless, there is no way your baby is going to ever be sleeping with a comforter on like you do, so the quilt or comforter is purely for decorative
purposes. As seen in the picture (from Target.com), the quilt is just laid off to the side for decoration. There are other ways you can decorate the nursery without leaving a quilt lying around, and your little one surely won’t get any use out of it either. Crib Bedding sets run from $50-$150, an amount that could be better spent on a high chair or a nice baby carrier.
You really could only need this contraption if you are pumping and your baby is exclusively bottle-fed. If you are exclusively breastfeeding, the milk has a natural heater (you!) and if you are using formula you can always buy bottled water or adjust your filter/faucet to room temperature water.
If you really do feel that you have to have a bottle warmer, don’t register for it. Wait until you find out what kind of bottles your baby prefers, as most bottle warmers will only fit a handful of bottle brands. No sense in having to return any more items than you have to when you’re trying to take care of a newborn!
Baby Laundry Detergent
When I was making my baby registry, I thought you had to use specifically “baby” laundry detergent on baby clothes. Not so. Most laundry detergents for “sensitive skin” work just as well and are half the price. Here’s a comparison chart of the most popular baby detergent (Dreft) and an Arm & Hammer sensitive skin detergent:
Essentially the same, just one is way cheaper. When researching the Dreft detergent brand, most of the reviews just talked about how great the detergent smelled, but the Arm & Hammer detergent is fragrance-free. Many babies may not have sensitive skin (like mine, we just use a regular Arm & Hammer detergent for both her clothes and ours), but if you are really concerned about it, I would recommend just making your own detergent with natural ingredients (it’ll still be cheaper than Dreft, I promise!).
This is one of those items that might be nice to have, but it’s not absolutely necessary. Running between $25-$35, you could register for about 1,600 wipes for that much. Your baby will probably hate getting her diaper changed just as much as you will hate changing it, so it’s not like using a warm wipe will make it that much better. Plus you have to turn the warmer on early enough for the wipes to get warm before you change the diaper – ain’t nobody got time for that! Most if not all wipe warmers have to be plugged in, so that’s just another thing to fill up an outlet and keep you tied to only changing diapers in the nursery/changing table area, which you may think you’ll do….for the first couple weeks until you lower expectations. 😉
If you are at all tight on space or your baby is not going to have their own bedroom for a while, a baby hamper should definitely be a no-go. Yes, your baby will most likely accumulate quite a bit of laundry for their size, but everything is so small and you will need to wash clothes frequently (because of stains), that the baby hamper will most likely never get filled. Most baby hampers that I researched also looked super cute but quite flimsy. Once your little one is crawling and pulling up (as early as 7-8 months), this could become a safety hazard as the hamper will not withstand their weight. I’m sure you also don’t want to walk in the nursery to find your LO chewing on dirty onesies with poop stains on them – gross! And lastly, just like all things baby, hampers that are specified as “baby” hampers are overpriced. You’d be better off getting something like this nifty hanging laundry bag:
Safe for the baby, easy for you. It hangs over a door frame or can suction-cup to a wall, with a hole at the top for tossing dirty laundry in and a zippered bottom for an easy dump into the washing machine. Easy and efficient is the kind of stuff new moms need!
Yet again, something that is overpriced because it is for a baby and new parents don’t know any better. Just about all diaper pails are essentially a small trash can with scented bags. However, small step trash cans run $15-$30 while diaper pails run $30-$65. That’s at least 50% off! Then, there’s the bags – it’s about $6 to buy a package of diaper pail bags which will last you through 270 diapers, give or take. If you buy a $6 box of scented trash bags such as this one, then you would have enough bags to go through approximately 780 diapers! There is just no comparison.
If you really feel that you will not be able to endure the next three years or so (a.k.a. the diaper stage) without some sort of diaper pail, I would say go big or go home with the Ubbi Diaper Pail:
It does not require any specific kind of bag (the scent is a part of the pail, not the bags), and has a child safety lock on the top. Otherwise, hit up your local Wal-Mart and get a cute little trash can!
Rarely do I ever see these actually on a registry, but somehow they are still given as gifts! Babies cannot walk, thus they do not need shoes – unless you live in a very cold climate. I know they are super cute, but trust me, it is hard enough to get a simple onesie on a squirmy and unwilling child, much less socks, headbands, shoes, or any other accessories. My little girl screams whenever I try to put shoes on her, so if it’s not necessary, we’re not going to do it! (I’m sure she’ll be one of those kids who runs around barefoot in the backyard, too). Also, her feet were and are so chunky that just about all the baby shoes we received didn’t even fit her. I’ve had to give just about all of them away because once her feet got long enough to stay inside a shoe, the tops of her feet and her ankles kept me from getting the shoe on! Let’s just say shoes are kind of a lost cause with my firstborn. 😉
So who do baby shoes benefit? Not the baby, she doesn’t need them until at least she starts walking. Not the parents, because they don’t need another thing to worry about. The person who gives the baby shoes may be excited about them for a little while, but once the gift is given they won’t see them again because the baby won’t ever wear them. So next time you see a pair of super cute baby shoes (really, what baby shoes aren’t super cute?), smile and squeal with delight, snap a picture and send it to your expectant friend/family member, but for goodness’ sake don’t add them to the stockpile of baby things new parents don’t need.
These are seven baby items that I’ve survived (and maybe even thrived!) without for my LO’s first year of life. I felt so overwhelmed with all the stuff we had for her at the beginning that it probably would have been more stressful to have additional contraptions. Do you have anything you would add to this list? Comment below!
New mommas, it’s okay if you do decide to register for some of these things. The purpose of this list is not to make you feel guilty for registering for things you don’t really need but maybe actually want to register for. I just want expecting parents to not feel like they have to have every contraption and newfangled item in order to survive the baby stage, because that’s what the advertisements and registry checklists are telling you! And for those that are shopping for a baby shower, keep this list in mind as you shop for your recipient and make your purchasing decisions based upon what will benefit them and their growing family the most!