September 10, 2019
I can so clearly remember sitting down to make my first baby registry as a 3rd year family medicine resident. I was months from being a fully boarded ‘expert’ in family wellness. My nieces and nephews already numbered in the dozens. What I thought would be a fun wishlist adventure devolved into a tear-stained stress-fest in a matter of minutes. There are an overwhelming number of “best registry” lists out there and many of them are influenced by who is getting kick-backs for what. Beyond that, different things fit different lifestyles. The Bob Jog stroller was highly recommended to us, but we don’t run. After 3 kids and building many other people’s registries, I have a whole different perspective. What we are going to start with here, though, are 10 things you for sure do NOT need.
First up, products I still see people registering for that have significant, valid safety concerns or recalls. Don’t use these. I don’t care what your girlfriends or aunties or favorite blogger told you.
1. Rock n play
The Rock N Play has been recalled due to infant deaths. The issue is, if you use this for baby sleep (which is kind of the whole idea), the baby can turn and get stuck in a position that they can’t breathe. There are safer and better sleep options available, skip this one.
These are SO popular right now. The problem with the Doc-A-Tot is that people do not use them as intended. There are instructions stating babies should not be left unattended on the cushion and if used in this way – as a surface to put your baby while you are watching them – they are fine. However, most people are using them as a bassinet alternative, allowing baby to sleep unattended in them. They have soft sides, and are therefore as unsafe as crib bumpers… which brings us to number 3.
3. Crib Bumpers
Crib Bumpers are a suffocation risk and not recommended. Even when babies are bigger, the strings used to attach them are a potential risk. However, there are some breathable options that would help keep pacifiers and baby’s limbs inside the slats of a crib. Now if only someone would make super cute versions of these safer options….
4. Amber necklace
I have to cringe every time I see one of these on social media. They are cute, yes, but every single one of them is a choking and strangling hazard and there is NO evidence they impact teething comfort. Please, please do not use.
These things might seem like a brilliant invention, but experienced moms will tell you that they are utterly unnecessary and just take up space. There are a lot of “baby gear” options that are rentable these days also – think about this for Mamaroo/swings, Snoo, and other items before you use up your registry space.
5. Baby Wipe Warmer
Babies hate their bottoms being wiped with cold wipes, this is true. This gadget seems like it would help with that! However, you’re not going to take it with you everywhere and you might as well have them be used to cold bum-cleaning as the norm. They dry out your wipes and have to be annoyingly refilled.
6. Baby Food Maker
The current best recommendations for what to feed babies are to give them soft, non-choking-hazard versions of whatever the family is eating. For this, all you need to have is a food mill or immersion blender. An all-in-1 steamer/blender offers nothing your food processor or blender can’t do for you.
7. Bottle Sterilizer
There is no need for sterilizing pump equipment and bottles frequently. In fact, since most pump parts and baby bottles are plastic they are best dealt with by hand washing with hot water and soap and then drying thoroughly. Excessive exposure to high heat causes plastics to break down and release chemicals. If you are using good storage techniques (more info on this in later posts) and regular cleaning, sterilizing isn’t necessary. If they happen to have been left out and are really gross, then do that followed by a run in the dishwasher on “sanitize” setting or a dunk in boiling water.
We are not in any way going to tell you not to register for adorable nursery decor or few precious outfits for your little one – au contraire! We absolutely recommend you do so that people get those and not whatever random things they think are cute but don’t fit your vibe. These things mentioned below are pretty but actively work against a happy parenthood experience, skip them!
8.Fussy Baby Outfits
Namely, those with 8,000 snaps. Some of the cutest outfits out there are the one with the full Y shape of snaps down the front and then both legs. Let me tell you, when you’re trying to do a diaper change as an exhausted new parent, there is NO way you will get those snaps closed right. Same goes for anything that needs to be ironed or has sequins or itchy fabrics. Not worth the effort. Stick to gowns, zippers and magnet outfits (yep, some genius parent made these).
9. Baby Shoes
News Flash: babies do not need shoes and no matter how cute they are, they will not stay on. If you want a pair for a special photoshoot, fine, but save the shoe budget for walking-sized ones. My exception to this would be Robeez or Freshly Picked mocassin style shoes for going outdoors – especially in winter, they can help keep socks on and feet warm. However, the Zutano booties work better still, so only do ‘shoes’ if the style factor makes you super happy.
10. Tons of Newborn Sized Things
I know, I KNOW! The teeny tiny things are so cute that they’re hard to resist. But newborn clothes, newborn diapers, newborn hats and everything else will only fit for a couple weeks. Spread out the sizes on your registry to cover the whole first year of life. I can’t tell you how many parents I know who didn’t even get to put their baby in all the newborn outfits they had before they grew out of them and then had nothing in size 9-12 months.
OK, there’s no way that is an exhaustive list, help a new parent out: experienced parents out there – what was the registry item you NEVER used?
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