baby registry: what NOT to put on the list.

Yesterday I gave you a rundown of all the baby items I deem truly justified when registering for items for a new baby.  Today, I'll give you a rundown of the stuff that I find a little (or a lot) less necessary.  (Much of this list is modified from a post I wrote on the same topic a few years ago, with some additions and subtractions.)  Settle in.  This post is long and sometimes snarky because sometimes registry checklists make me mad.

Here we go - the stuff you really don't need to add to your registry:

Specialized diaper pail or system.  Your house will smell like baby poop, no matter what you do or how much money you spend on something gimmicky.  Pee diapers don't smell like anything, so they can just go in the regular trash can.  As for poopy diapers, just put them directly in the outside trash like you'd do with anything else that smells bad.  Your baby will be fine in the swing for the 20 seconds you're gone.  Or if that doesn't work with your situation, just find a trash can with a decent lid and empty it daily.  (And here's another thing - consignment places usually won't take diaper pail systems, and I know from experience they do NOT sell at garage sales, so you can't resell them.  You'll have spent top dollar for a glorified garbage can that you will, ironically, just have to throw away when you're done with the baby stage.)

Cutie patootie slings.  I know I mentioned this yesterday, but get the mammoth, ergonomically-designed kind.  Anything flimsy or one-shouldered will only get used occasionally and for short spurts at a time.  Migraines will abound.  My personal recommendation is the Ergo (with the newborn insert for babies that are still itty bitties).  It is a piece of cake to get on and off by yourself, and you can literally wear it for hours without back or shoulder pain.  When you put your baby in it, it's like you've got a 10-pound cloud strapped to you.  It's still 10 pounds, but something ought to be said for the fact that it's a cloud.

Expensive baby detergents and stain removers.  I know some babies have really sensitive skin and some detergents are especially harsh (anything with live enzymes in it, like Tide, might cause more problems).  But I would say more than anything it's fabric softeners and dryer sheets that are irritating to sensitive skin, and just avoiding these and using your normal detergent is way more economical.  Plus then you don't have to wash baby clothes separately from the rest of the family's, because let's be honest, it's not like you need any more excuses to fall behind on laundry when you have a new baby.  (Or when you don't.)

Baby toys for the under-toddler set.  Maybe a couple to hang from the car seat.  But as far as anything else goes, I swear they'll ignore it for the first six months and after that they'll only want to chew on your tupperware instead, so why bother?  (And, on a side note, I TOTALLY get how this makes me Public Enemy #1, but can we please stop pretending that two-month-old babies need to be "reading" board books with you, and that they actually enjoy "reading"?  I can tell you that they don't, and they don't.  It's okay if you also want to skip the books until they're a bit older.)

Those weird head-to-toe snowsuit things they make for babies.  Newsflash: babies do not play in the snow.  And heaven forbid any Internet moms see you buckling your puffywear-clad child into a carseat.  DON'T YOU KNOW HE COULD BE BODILY EJECTED FROM HIS FIVE-POINT HARNESS IN THE EVENT OF A NUCLEAR BLAST?!  And in the 3.2 seconds it takes to get them from the door to the car, where you apparently have to dewinterize them anyway, most can be effectively bundled with a hat and a warm blanket or two over the top of the carseat.  Or gimmickier, but quite effective, a carseat cover.  (These were pretty unusual to see when I had Atticus - now they're pretty standard, I think.)

Baby powder. I do not know anyone who uses this.  I literally don't even know what it's for.  I would also put large jars of petroleum jelly on the 'do not buy' list.  Other than for occasionally lubing up rectal thermometers and about a weeks' worth of circumcision care, you will never use this stuff, and in either case of its actual usefulness, it's very concerning if you need such a large jar of it.  Get like the tiniest travel-sized jar or tube you can find.

Half the weird stuff that comes in a baby grooming kit.  You will get a cheapo but very effective baby hairbrush at the hospital.  Ditto for a nose sucker thing - they'll give you forty million of those if you ask for them.  And any time your baby needs a medicine dropper, it will come with the medication.  And what on earth anyone uses tweezers or tiny scissors for on a baby, I don't know.  Why spend the extra money on this stuff?  The major exception is baby nail clippers - NECESSARY. and how.  Get the kind that are normal-hand-sized with a tiny clipper on the end (ours have big bulbous handle things), not the kind where the whole clipper is tiny and you can't see what the heck you're doing.  You will bloody your kid's hands so fast you won't know what happened.

Wipes warmer.  I'm sorry, but there's nothing that makes my blood boil over first world privilege than people who act like wipes warmers are some kind of survival necessity.  Like, "In the event of the apocalypse, grab the canned goods and the crank generator so we can keep the wipes warm, or the baby won't know he's loved and he'll grow to resent us..." 

In my more-passionate-than-the-topic-really-warrants opinion, kids should just be thankful that you're actually cleaning them up, and not making them crawl around in their own poop all day.  Cold wipes teach character and gratitude, that's what I say.  And if I'm being honest, not one of my kids has ever indicated in any way that using a room temperature wipe is even the slightest bit inhumane.  (Plus, wipes warmers just remind me of whatever movie it is where they give some guy a hot towel on the plane and he doesn't know what to do with it so he just wipes his face and puts it back in the bowl.  What movie is that??  I think it's Adam Sandler...)

Specialty make-your-own-baby-food-at-home gear.  I will say I do have a little hand-held puree-er thing, and it really did come in handy sometimes when I was still making baby food, but if I'd had a functioning food processor, I really wouldn't have needed both.  You probably already have on hand everything you need without registering for any extra equipment.  Puree up some veggies in your food processor, pour the resulting goo in some ice cube trays, and pop those in the freezer.   Or do what I do now and skip the baby food phase altogether and just mush some normal-people dinner up after a while.  (Baby led weaning has made life so much easier.  It has been years since I've served purees.  So, maybe put the Baby Led Weaning book on your registry instead of the food masher thing.)

Stroller sack.  Why are these a thing you can buy?  Didn't you already succumb to the pressure to buy a diaper bag? (Which I also maintain you don't need - get a roomy purse.  Stick a ziplock in there with a FEW necessities and call it a day.)  Didn't you already take my advice and get a simple foldable stroller, most of which already come with a basket underneath?  WHY DO WE NEED YET ANOTHER BAG?!  Oh yes.  To hold all the rest of the unnecessary items on the registry checklist.

Breast pump.  Don't get me wrong; you'll need a breast pump if you're planning on nursing.  But don't put it on your registry.  Often, your insurance will cover part or all of the cost, or you can rent a hospital-grade one from the pharmacy, the lactation consultant, or WIC.  (I rented a really high end one for free from WIC, since we qualified, and when it came time to give it back, they gave me a brand new Medela for free to keep.)  Whichever way you get yours, it will come with new bottles, shields, and tubes.  No need to ask someone to pay full price for this stuff.

And there is the list of items that, through much trial and error, I have really found to be unnecessary to register for.  Hope it saves you a little space in your home, and a little cash in your wallet.  You're free to buy me a coffee with a percentage of your savings; it's a free country, I can't tell you what to do with your money.


the jersk. said...

yes -- the wedding singer. ;)

the jersk. said...

also the only food gadget we loved was the "create your own pouches" thinger. ruby looooved pouches.

todd said...

tell people to skip the stuff and instead buy you gift cards and offer to watch your kiddo so you can go on a date with your husband. again, it's a free country. I can't tell people what to do. just saying.