- Family and Parenting
The Top 9 Most Useless Baby Gifts
In the summer of 2013 I was comparing high chairs, reading car seat safety ratings, and registering for a ton of useless baby items that I deemed absolutely necessary.
While it's mega fun to go on a registering-spree, you'll have to live with the consequences later on as you're shuffling pastel colored thingamabobs and doo-hickeys from closet to closet, trying to free up space for your new babe.
Save yourself repeated trips to Goodwill and follow this guide to find out what absolutely necessary baby gadgets and gear you definitely probably for sure don't need.
1. Diaper Genie and Refills
These things are a total, freaking pain in the butt. They're like origami with trash bags. Really expensive trash bags. Instead, purchase a small, inexpensive trash can and layer it with plastic grocery bags (basically, you're just going to put bag over bag in the can as if you're putting a new bag in).
When your babe goes #2 simply drop the diaper bomb in, tie the bag, and let it nestle into the next bag.
Voila. Now you're a diaper genius.
2. Wipe Warmer
Not only can the warmer dry the wipes at the bottom of the pile out, but it's just sort of another contraption that you'll end up getting rid of. Compare this to the invention of the portable chin rest (Google it, it's real)--yeah sure, it would be nice to not have to hold your chin up by yourself, just like it would be nice to have cozy wipes in the middle of the night. But is it really worth the extra clutter?
3. Disposable Diapers
Leave it to a baby to make something as simple as a diaper confusing. Depending on the heftiness of your little one's you know, messes, not every diaper brand or size will work for you and baby. If you still want to register for diapers, register for varying brands in different sizes (most babies only wear a newborn diaper for a few weeks, if even) and donate the ones that don't work to your local baby pantry.
4. A Bottle Warmer
Running a bag of milk under warm water for a minute will warm it just as well as a fancy bottle warmer would.
Oh, it's so hard to avoid the temptation of the sweet little footie jammies and ruffled dresses. For this very reason don't even bother registering for clothing. While adding one or two items may give shoppers an idea of your style they'll probably just buy what they want anyway.
If you do want to register for clothes, opt for things you'll always need like onesies and sleepers.
6. A Bouncer, Swing, and Bassinet
While you may want one of these, all-three might be overkill since most babies end up having a preference anyway. Start out with one, say, the bouncer and use any leftover gift cards to purchase one of the others if the bouncer doesn't do the trick. (Don't forget that you can get a pretty penny for your gently-used baby items at children's resale shops!)
7. A Bottle Sanitizer
The steps necessary to accomplish the task of "sanitizing" your baby's glass bottles is easily accomplished with a good ol' saucepan and boiling water. Checkout this WebMD article on whether or not sanitizing your bottles is even necessary.
8. Cute Accessories
The hair bows and headbands are adorable in theory but just like clothing, you'll get a lot of these things as gifts--wanted or not--without asking.
And if your kids are anything like mine, they'll just rip them off with frightening force anyway.
9. A First Aid Kit
You should have a first-aid kit, but the majority of baby first-aid kits come with chintzy supplies (nail clippers that don't clip and a bulb syringe they give you free at the hospital) and high-prices. Build your own with trusted brands and products. Here are some things that should be in every mom's baby first-aid kit:
- Nasal aspirator. Whether you choose an old school bulb-syringe or one of the new options, an aspirator is a must with a congested baby.
- Thermometer. An in-ear thermometer is your best bet with a little one. Unless you can get her to stay still long enough to go another route...
- Band-Aids and an antiseptic cream. For the ouchies.
- Tweezers. For splinters and the like.
- Infant gas drops. A lifesaver for your sanity, really. The active ingredient in this liquid medication is simethicone which helps to make your baby's gas easier to pass.
- Saline drops. If your babe is getting a crusty nose, battling a cold or dealing with typical infant congestion a couple of drops of baby saline drops can do wonders for clearing your baby's nasal passages.
Other medications like children's Tylenol or Motrin can be added later on at your pediatrician's approval.
Other Useless Baby Things
Infant Car Seat
Full Sized High Chair
Now, if you really don't have an extra chair to spare in the house then a full-sized high chair is the way to go. But if you've got extra chairs at the table choose a space-saver seat that can be put away after meals.
Changing tables are to make a nursery look cute. That's it. If you're limited on space, a changing pad will do the trick. Plus, they're easy to wash.
- Bumbo. Since when do kids who are too young to sit on their own enjoy being set in a rock-solid booster seat and left to sit with their legs sticking straight out?
- Shopping Cart Cover. Do you really want to haul that thing in and out of the grocery store?
- Baby Bullet. Your kitchen provides all that is necessary to microwave, steam, boil and mash. Baby Bullet is overkill.
- Infant Car Seat. They're not infants for very long. Do research on the safest car seat for all stages of your little one's babyhood.
- Baby Bath. Unless the thought of bathing baby in the sink offends anyone else in the house...
Crib Bumpers (and Expensive Baby Bedding)
Crib bumpers are getting a bad reputation these days for being a possible suffocation-risk. With that being said, most baby bedding isn't really necessary and can actually be dangerous is baby's first months. Since your little one will be sleeping on a flat surface (i.e. no pillows, blankets, or other adorables) for a while, nix the bedding from your list and register for extra sheets and swaddlers.
Newborns don't walk. So.
Plus, they just look horribly uncomfortable.
You're actually better off to ask for a new pair of tennies for yourself for all of that hauling and running back and forth you'll be doing as a new parent.
Socks Are Kind of Silly Too
Poll: What's The Most Useless Baby Gift Ever?
What's The Most Useless Baby Thing Ever?
What Did I Miss?
Let me know in the comments below!