- Family and Parenting
10 Items You Should Not Put on a Baby Registry
These baby items are on most registries today and in my opinion they are not necessary and they are a waste of money.
We had been foster parents for almost two years. We had a 10 year old with us for over a year and after she left we decided we wanted an infant placement. We were well-liked by the foster placement director and she told us she was looking for an infant placement for us. We set up a very basic nursery and waited.
On February 5, 2009 I got a call from an Intake worker at Franklin County Children's Services saying they had a preemie infant, 12 days old, who needed a foster home to possibly become an adoptive placement.
This is Kassidy Lynee on the left.
We brought her home two days later. We didn't have a fancy nursery. We hadn't had a baby shower. We probably spent less than $500 on all of her necessities and that included a new crib a few months later. We did borrow a bassinette and some newborn clothes but that's about it.
Sometimes I go to baby showers or I am in a store like Babies R Us and I see parents-to-be registering for all this stuff which just isn't necessary. The baby industry has told parents there are things they have to have. When parents go online or to a store to register, the store hands them a list of things, 90% of which didn't exist when our generation (For Me - Gen X) was being raised.
Admittedly, you might find that you need some of these items later. That's why I suggest you ask for giftcards and cash for all except the basic items. In today's economy, money is worth far more than unused registry items and cutesy clothes that haven't been worn.
1. Expensive Bottles - They are a waste of money.
Our baby went home with us for a month and then ended up being back in the hospital for a month for severe reflux/GERD. During the month we were at home we tried a lot of different "name brand" bottles and none of them helped her reflux. At the hospital a nurse told me a bottle is a bottle. At the hospital they only had basic bottle and several different types of nipples. The nurse told me it was the nipples that mattered. Also, do you really want to spend $10.00 on a bottle that comes in multiple pieces? Believe me, you don't.
So my suggestion is - Buy at least a 2 day supply of bottles and nipples (about 12), a dishwasher nipple basket, and a bottle brush.
I recommend Evenflo because you can replace the caps if daycare or the babysitter lose them.
We tried a lot of different bottles in the beginning and then a nurse in the hospital said "A bottle is a bottle. We use the plain Gerber-type bottles in the hospital. It's all we have and we have some very sick and very needy babies. She told me it was finding the right nipple that matters. I loved these Evenflo bottles because the caps are perfect for taking to daycare everyday. They are easy to label (by the way - no fancy labels are needed - colored "floor tape" and a Sharpie work the best - I'll try to add the tape to my Amazon mod." Also, Evenflo caps can be purchased separately if you lose them.
We still use this. It works great for sippy cup caps and parts. We also use it for lids to water bottles, coffee cup lids and other small pieces.
This is my favorite bottle brush. We still use it for sippy cups.
THESE ARE GREAT AND MY DAUGHTER LOVED THEM!! She was a really "fast drinker" and would suck so hard it collapsed the nipple. (Imagine if I could have breastfed - lol) These prevented that. They also a texture to them. I'm not sure what you would call it. But it was great for teething and just extra oral stimulation.
2. An expensive "Travel System" - Meaning a stroller and carseat combination
Don't get me wrong. You need a carseat and a stroller. But some of these are outrageously priced - upwards of $500 and then you still might find that you need something else.
I developed back problems when Kassidy was 6 months old and had a hard time carrying the carseat and couldn't lift a heavy stroller into the car.
Something else you should consider is buying a base for each carseat.
We found a carseat 'frame" and it was a Godsend. It went everywhere with us and only weighed 12 pounds. We used it until she was a year old. T Now we have a big toddler-sized stroller. It was nice to take her to the store and actually pick one out that fit her. We also had a better idea of what our needs were.
By the way, we also bought an umbrella stroller which we never used.
My point is - Yours and your baby's needs change over time.
We had two of these - one for each car. You don't have to have one at all but it makes taking the baby seat in and out a snap - literally. Make sure you get the one that fits the infant seat you bought.
This is great for attaching things to the stroller like your purse, bags of groceries, and the diaper bag, although the Columbia diaper bag that we bought (see Amazon suggestions) comes with snaps to hook it to the stroller.
3. A Big Expensive Swing, especially one that says it "simulates the womb" - What? Need I say more?
What you do need are an inexpensive swing you can fold up and take with you and some form of a baby sling. Kassidy had to be upright most of the time due to her reflux so I had her in a sling or swing most of the time. I read about "baby-wearing" and it sounded like a hippie dippie thing but I was willing to try it. Her neonatologist told me not to use the kind that had her on my chest with her legs spread (like a Snugli). He said it's bad for baby's hips and it doen't all them to move with your body.
I tried (and owned) several different slings. LIsted below are some of my favorite types of slings. I recently found a place in Columbus(Pea Pod in Clintonville) where they will let you try on slngs (with you baby) before you buy them. That's a great idea.
I did everything with her in the sling - dishes, cleaning, laundry, and her favorite - vacuuming. We still use the sling, especially when we are in new places or I can't get her to sleep. She sees it now and says - No, Mommy. No bed. No sleep. We joke that she is helpless against the hypnotic power of the sling.
If I had to pick one item I couldn't do without, a sling would be it.
I used a ring-type sling from the time Kassidy was about 6 months to age two. She was a small toddler but by the time she reached 25 pounds she was too heavy for me in the ring sling.
All of the slings were (and still are) great for getting her to sleep.
4. A bottle sterilizer - They still make these?
What you do need:
Microwave sterilize bags - They are great for sterilizing pacifiers, new nipples and bottles, infant toys and teethers.
A diswasher nipple rack - as below
Whoever invented these was a genius! An absolute must have!
Again - love this.
I added these dishwashers because if you don't have a built in dishwasher I would put one on my registry - seriously.
5. A Make Your Own Baby Food Kit - Not that I am saying not to make your own baby food
I just don't think you should put in on your registry becaue when the time comes to introduce solids you may or may not want to make your own baby food. You might find that time is more precious to you than previously thought.
You can always go out and buy one later.
There is a brand of food we like called "Earth's Best." It was all organic and nutritious and Kassidy loved. Baby food doesn't generally cost more than a couple of dollars per day even if you buy the best. I also found that she didn't need baby food nearly as long as I thought she would.
I did buy a hand grinder but ended up using my food processor, mini chopper or blender for pureeing foods that we were eating.
6. A bouncer seat - Don't even think about buying a walker!
Our Physical Therapist said bouncer seats, and especially walkers, are not good for baby's development. Baby's need to be down on the floor learning to roll over, sit up, crawl and walk. They do no need to be strapped in a bouncer seat.
I am also seeing an overwhelming number of Moms who seem to think it's o.k. to keep babies in their infant carseats all the time. It's not o.k Carseats are for cars. If you need a way to transport your baby, I recommend using a sling. The neonatologist said they are much better for baby's development and I agree.
Babies need floortime and tummy time every day. Due to the new recommendations that baby's sleep on their back (and they need to), some babies no longer crawl. They go from the floor to walking, and it's usually late.
Walkers are a safety hazard. They also are not good for baby's physical development and will actually delay walking.
By the way - We did buy a Baby Einstein bouncer-type seat. We never used it and it costed almost $100.
These are the things I do recommend for baby's floortime.
7. A bassinette or a changing table
We borrowed a bassinette for a short time to use in our room but it wasn't necessary. Something really good to use instead is a pack-n-play with a bassinette attachment. We used it for a long time until she was ready to move into her crib in her room.
Instead of a changing table, we used a pack-n-play with a changing table attachment. It was really nice to have. We also kept waterproof pads in every room in the house, along with diapers and wipes, and just changed her on the floor, couch or bed.
We chose not to co-sleep due to the suffocation hazards but a lot of parents do choose this option. Once again, you can always buy these products later.
8. Expensive or Cutesy clothes - Save your money and ask for the basics.
These were my favorite basics. I like zippers instead of buttons for sleepers. You and your baby will in the middle of the night also.
Cute, matching burp clothes are not necessary. But get al least one pack of real cotton diapers. You will use them for everything.
And I loved my Soothie pacifiers and "Wub a Nub." Kassidy had the pink horse.
9. An expensive diaper bag - And all the bells and whistles that come with it, like a "Pacifier keeper."
We used this diaper bag backpack every day for two years. It just recently had to be traded in and I miss it already. When I looked it up, I don't remember paying as much as the price listed on Amazon, but it was worth it. And Dads will like it too.
We had some things we kept in it all the time:
Disposable changing pads - We rarely carried the plastic one it came with
Aquaphor - an all purpose cream for everything from lips to diaper rash.
10. A Baby Wipes Warmer - It's called a little free warm water from the sink
You do need:
Decent disposable diapers - I prefer Pampers Swaddlers for newborns. I prefer Huggies Overnights for travel and nightimes.
For everyday diapers, I usually bought the CVS or Walgreen's brand diapers when they are on sale for $6.OO a box AND Buy One Get One Free.
I also liked ordering diapers online. It was vey convenient.
Unscented baby wipes - A tip - We found we could never find the wipes when we needed them. We bought a plastic box of wipes for every room and I labeled them with permanent marker. For example: Living Room. That way they don't get moved from room to room and they never get lost.
2 waterproof crib ilners - To change your baby on. We never used a changing table. We always use the couch, the bed or the floor.
Take this poll?
Do you agree with my suggestions of items that should not be on a baby registry?
We raised our beautiful baby without any of these baby items. - And she's beautiful and healthy.
Or feel free to share with me that I am wrong and all these things were necessary to you.