Almost immediately after I got pregnant, I started working on my baby registry. As someone who likes to over-prepare (and over-research), I wanted to make sure my registry had everything I could possibly need and only the best, most recommended products. (Nothing with less than 4 stars on Amazon made the cut.)
So I scoured Pinterest, mommy blogs and sites like Lucie’s List in my quest to compile the perfect registry. I think I subconsciously believed that if I had the perfect mix of baby stuff, it would make the crazy newborn days not necessarily easy, but manageable. Oh, how naive I was.
The truth is that having all the “right” products probably won’t get you any more sleep or make your baby cry any less. And while there are definitely some essentials you need to have when baby arrives, I think it’s better to keep your registry a little more minimal and wait on some purchases until you figure out what your baby likes.
Here are 15 things that, in my experience, you can leave off your registry:
1. Wipe warmer
Several moms told me this was helpful for keeping baby calm during middle-of-the-night diaper changes, but we never used it and now it’s just a wipe holder with a cord attached. Our son slept in our room for the first four months so we did a lot of diaper changes on the bed, and it was easier to just have a diaper caddy with wipes we could grab instead of something that had to be plugged in.
2. Baby bathtub
We got in the habit of taking baths with our son after my doula suggested it as a way to relax with my baby when we were struggling with breastfeeding. It was also a great way for my husband to bond with our baby in the early months, and I think it helped our son feel comfortable in the water right away. And it felt a lot easier to us than trying to kneel by the tub.
3. A huge set of bottles
We got a whole set of one brand of bottles, only to have my son reject them suddenly after a couple months. We switched to a different brand and never looked back. My advice would be to not invest too heavily in one brand until you figure out what your baby prefers. Same goes for pacifiers!
4. Bottle warmer
Related to #3, we got a bottle warmer and when we switched to a different brand of bottles the new ones no longer fit in the warmer. And even before that, we would just warm up bottles in a bowl of water and that worked just fine. As someone who tries to keep clutter to a minimum (a real challenge with a baby), I was happy to get the warmer off my counter.
5. Bumbo floor seat
Another item that several moms told me was a “must-have,” so onto the registry it went. But by the time my son could use it his legs were too chubby to fit comfortably in the seat. Also, the seat is not popular among physical therapists because, according to them, it puts them in an unnatural posture and doesn’t have any development benefits. I eventually bought other “equipment” when I needed my hands free—a bouncer and a jumperoo—and preferred those over the Bumbo.
6. Boppy newborn lounger
It’s cute, but only used for such an incredibly short period of time that I wouldn’t recommend it. My son only lounged in it a handful of times and it was mostly just a good spot for taking photos of him.
7. Shoes and socks
I didn’t register for these but did receive quite a few pairs, only to learn that shoes are completely useless because newborns don’t do a whole lot of walking. Same goes for socks—you only need a few pairs because they outgrow them quickly, and they hardly ever stay on. Invest in some booties like these instead that actually stay on their feet.
Kind of a no-brainer, but babies don’t need much in the way of toys until they’re several months old. So enjoy that phase while you can, before your living room is overrun with toys and you have to spend every night digging under your couch for that pesky #7 stacking cup.
9. High chair
I wanted this high-ticket item on my registry, but once I assembled it (several months after our son was born) I realized it wasn’t ideal for us and sent it to Grandma’s house. After talking with my new mom friends and seeing their chairs in person I was able to make a more informed purchase, so I wish I had waited to buy one and saved myself some hassle.
10. Nursing cover
I didn’t nurse in public as much as I thought I would, and my son wasn’t a big fan of being covered anyway, so I wish I had waited to see if I actually needed one and kept it off the registry.
11. Baby laundry detergent
I use the same environmentally safe, hypoallergenic laundry detergent for all our clothes, and it’s gentle enough and safe for babies too. I wash our clothes in the same load, too, so using different detergents seems unnecessary to me.
12. Pee pee teepees
Boy mamas, these are worthless and don’t stay on. A diaper or a wipe works fine (and maybe some safety goggles for you).
13. Fussy clothes
My son’s coming home outfit was a onesie I had to put over his head, a hoodie, sweatpants, and matching bear socks and hats. Adorable? Yes. Practical? Heck no. He screamed the whole time we were dressing him and it all came off 10 minutes after we got home. Stick to simple onesies and clothes that zip or snap instead of going over their head.
14. Baby blankets
We got approximately 93 baby blankets as gifts when my son was born, so there’s no need to register for any. (Except for these swaddle blankets, they are a must!)
15. Babyproofing supplies
Many “preparing for baby” checklists said the best time to babyproof is BEFORE your baby is born, which stressed me out so much. In between all the other million things I have to do to get ready for baby’s arrival, you’re telling me I should also babyproof my entire house? Not happening. Since you usually don’t need much babyproofing for at least six months (for us it was more like 9 months), I think it makes more sense to wait. And when the time comes, you can do it in stages so you don’t get overwhelmed—babies don’t immediately go from sitting to walking overnight, after all.