9 things you don’t need for a baby (and some swaps that will make your life easier)

This is half-PSA and half-follow-up to my list of 65 baby registry items that you will actually use. There are so many innovative and amazing products out there that have made momming a whole lot easier. For example, the Doona is a must-have, innovative product for any city mom. On the flip side, there are some products that get put on many “must-have registry lists” or marketed to new moms that I think are a waste of money and space.

Most of the things on this list I did not have myself, and I am alive with a happy baby to tell the tale. Some of the items were things that I did purchase and now you can benefit from my mistakes.

  1. Bottle warmer – Have a sink with hot water? Then delete a bottle warmer off your registry list.  Any breast milk or formula that I took out of the fridge, I either ran under hot water or let sit in a cup of hot water. In my opinion, this is a gadget that just takes up counter space. Charlie was never too picky about the temperature of his bottles, but by 6 months he was happy to drink them cold.
  2. Wipe warmer – You might think you need a wipe warmer because your baby cries when you change his diaper. I don’t know many babies who don’t cry, warm wipes or not. You do not want to get your baby in the habit of feeling perfectly warm, spa-like wipes on their tushy, only to have them completely meltdown when you have to change their diaper in public, using a room temperature wipe. Avoid this particular meltdown because there will be plenty of others to be had. Swap it for: the Oxo Tot wipes dispenser
  3. Formula mixers/bottle makers – Bottle makers are essentially a Keurig for baby bottles. There have been complaints and lawsuits that these bottle makers sometimes make watered down bottles. This means that parents think they are feeding their little ones a certain amount of nutrients but unknowingly shorting them. I’d prefer to know exactly how much nutrients my infant was getting by doing it by hand myself, and cleaning these machines are a complete hassle. Steps to hand-make a bottle: step 1 – scoop formula powder into bottle, step 2 – add water, step 3 – shake and serve. Easy right? Tip: Check out the CDC website for guidelines on Infant Formula Preparation and Storage
  4. Bottle sterilizer – I registered for a giant, spaceship-looking bottle sterilizer because I saw it on some friends’ registries. They require distilled water, so that was hassle #1. #2, mine started rusting the third time I used it, at which point I brought it right back to Buy Buy Baby and returned it. To sterilize my bottles, I simply left an empty pot on the stove and filled it up with bottles as we used them. When the pot was full of bottles (and pacifiers) I filled it up with water and boiled it for 5 minutes. I am pretty sure the sterilizer took 3 times as long.
  5. The infamous grass counter top bottle drying pad – Yes, it is cute and yes, it is on every single person’s registry, but this is the biggest waste of space I have ever seen! If you live in New York City, you probably have a small kitchen, and you definitely don’t have enough counter space. Please do not purchase this (or anything else) just because it has snuck its way onto every other baby registry. Swap it for: Oxo Tot space saving bottle drying rack (you’ll thank me)
  6. Too many newborn size clothes – Sadly, the newborn clothes stage is very short. For us it only lasted weeks! I had a bunch newborn size outfits that Charlie never even got to wear, and since I pre-washed everything I was unable to return them. I would lean towards buying less newborn size clothing and more 0-3 size things that they will grow into. You can always order more of the smaller sizes if your baby is not growing quite as quickly.
  7. Clothes that go over a newborns head – Every mom dreams of the cute outfits they will dress their baby in, and who can blame us? But, I would suggest saving anything that you have to pull over a newborn’s head for a few months down the line. Babies cry enough without being tortured. And if your head was just pushed out of a vagina to get born, would you want to reenact it days later with a tight shirt being pulled over your head?
  8. PJ’s with too many buttons – I made this mistake and quickly learned that unbuttoning and buttoning a baby’s pj’s to change them at midnight, 3 AM, and 6 AM just adds to the unpleasantness of being up all night with a newborn. Swap tricky buttons for magnets: MagneticMe Baby
  9. Newborn robe – Newborns don’t even get fully bathed until their belly button falls off, because it can’t get wet until it is fully healed. You’ll essentially give them a sponge bath in a onesie or a diaper every couple of days. Once you do bath them, you probably aren’t going to want to put a wet newborn in a robe where their little legs and feet will get cold. They will go right from a big cozy towel (that you don’t have to wrestle their arms into like a robe) to warm pajamas. Swap a robe for a super soft hooded towel: Terry cotton hooded towel

Do you disagree with anything on my list? If so, I would love to hear why.

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