I already made a list of things I would put on the registry if I got a re-do, but I also wanted to make a list of things I ended up not needing.
* Onesies. I probably got about 100 onesies in various sizes, and I only need 2-3 in each size and ironically mostly use the plain white ones with nothing on them!
* Sleepers with buttons. I have a few, but they are quite a pain to put on and off during the 15 diaper changes a day.
* Coat. I got my boy a nice warm Diesel coat, as well as a couple of those things that are like sleepers but they are coats. Whatever they are called. Well, the child screams like the Seahawks fans at CenturyLink every time I put one of those on him. So we resort to blankets.
* Pretty sets of wash cloths and baby towels. Guess what works just as well for a baby. A regular towel!
* Sets of lotions, creams, shampoos, washes, bubble baths… We got all that. All we ended up using is an all-in-one wash. The cheapest yellow one from Johnson & Johnson.
* Baby tub. I know that’s also on my registry item, and that’s really a matter of preference. But we like the bubble better. It also takes up less space.
* Lots of bath toys. We got a spout cover and a few rubber ducks. The spout cover didn’t fit the faucet in our new 1920’s house with a clawfoot tub. We are still trying to get the kid interested in the ducks. He prefers to explore the shower knobs instead.
* Diaper cream. I got loads and loads of Desitin, as well as other kinds of creams. I also loaded up on Coconut oil to be more natural. This is what I found out: baby’s rash appears to get more aggravated by Coconut oil and baby powder. Other creams don’t show results as fast as I’d like. My best solution so far for reddish skin? chamomile tea.
* A grooming “kit” consisting of baby nail clippers, brushes, and thermometers that aren’t temporal. Babies nails can be clipped just as well with regular nail clippers. I only used a brush (and I got the organic bristles kind that’s not included in most kits) when he had cradle cap for a little bit, and I am still not sure what exactly a baby comb is supposed to be for. All thermometers that aren’t temporal are literally a pain in the rear.
* Cradle cap cream. I purchased that thing and had high hopes for it. But what ended up working was scrubbing his head diligently during baths and rinsing with chamomile tea.
* Humidifier. We got a cute on in a shape of an owl. Used it once. The first day we set it up.
* Air purifier. I don’t even know what that looks like.
* Aspirator. We got a nice battery-powered one. Baby is afraid of it. Cotton swabs work.
* Speaking of cotton swabs. Those giant ones made specially for baby will not fit in his nostrils. They are practically useless.
* Special baby detergent. I got it. It does a horrible job washing stains and smells out. “User error!” some will say. Well guess what? I have no time to investigate how every detergent is supposed to be properly used. In my mind it should go in the wash and do its job without requiring a scientific calculator to figure out the formula for exactly how much of it will properly react with the amount of water my machine may use. Tide works great no matter how I use it. And so far baby has no reaction to it, so that’s what I will continue to use for all my laundry.
* So I’m still on the fence about Sofie the Giraffe. I’ve heard nothing but good things about her but my kid hasn’t shown any interest in her to date. He prefers to chew on the Aden & Anais swaddles or bibs.
* Bottle sterilizer. What a giant space taker! Bottles can be washed just as well with regular dish soap, and if you want to go a step further, special milk residue soap. If you are adamant about sterilizing them, steam clean them over a fork in a sauce pan.
* Bottle warmer. We warm the bottles by placing them in a mug with hot water. I haven’t had an instance yet when I didn’t have that readily available to me when it was time for the baby to eat out of a bottle.
* Special bottles drying rack. So this is a bit of an hypocritical statement from the minimalist inside, since I got one from my in-laws and I actually do use it. But I was ok without it and I probably wouldn’t have gotten it on my own. Bottles dry just as well on a towel or in a regular dish rack.
* Bottle carrying case. You would probably use it for daycare. But it’s an awkward square and has been sitting on top of our fridge for the past three months. Our diaper bag has a temperature regulating compartment that preserves cool or heat, and we normally just put the bottles right in there.
* Nursing cover. Two reasons why I haven’t used it. I know feeding in public is all the rage these days. But coming from a conservative family consisting primarily of my husband’s brothers, who are constantly around, it would be prudent to say that me breastfeeding in public would make it quite awkward for other members of my family. I have a nursing cover, and I’ve used it a few times, but still felt exposed. The other reason is that my baby hates nursing with others around. If someone else comes in the room while he is nursing, he will literally turn and stare them down until they leave. No exceptions, even for daddy, whom he adores!
* Burp cloths. What a useless invention. When spit comes out, you either need to have something that is quickly available to wipe with (a bib) or covers a vast territory of baby (an Aden & Anais swaddle). Burp cloths are neither! Baby has never ever conveniently burped while we were burping him, nor has he ever conveniently burped wherever he was supposed to. In fact, he is quite great at catching us off guard with his burping. No matter how prepared we are for it to happen, he spits out the moment we get distracted.
* Pacifier holder. (What is that?!)
* High chair. We may need it later, but at this point it seems to me that he will be just fine on someone’s lap.
* Mat to catch food under babies chair. It’s easier to use a broom than to clean that mat! I think it’s a good idea for carpeted areas though. Our house doesn’t have any where baby could potentially eat.
Furniture and Bedding
* Changing table pads. At first I swore by them. And then I realized that receiving blankets do the job just as well, as do hand towels and bigger cloth diapers. So I definitely wouldn’t invest in specially designed ones.
* Diaper pail and refills. This is a genius marketing scheme, as diapers that are wrapped in regular plastic bags go in the same landfill as those wrapped in special diaper pail refill bags. However, the special bags, from what I hear, are a lot more expensive! We cloth diaper, which also requires a pail hypothetically. However, we haven’t had either pails and so far have gotten without just fine.
* Wipe warmer. It’s nice to have. I used it in the first two weeks before we got our cloth diaper set. But it’s not essential by any means, and since we use cloth wipes now, I just wet half a wipe with warm water or dip it in chamomile tea.
Baby transporting and seating/entertainment
* Swing. I have a swing and it has been an eyesore for me since baby came into the world. Although my mother-in-law who watches baby says she uses it all the time, I absolutely cannot wait until he outgrows it and we get rid of the giant thing! I got it for free, which alleviates my hate towards it a tad. I also know that some swear by the swing. But I’ve barely used it, and baby only stays in it for a little bit as a form of entertainment rather than a means to fall asleep. I’d rather take him to the playground once every so often and not have the huge thing take up half my livingroom.
* Infantino baby carrier. Or any other baby carrier that isn’t ergonomically designed for that matter. My sister-in-law let me borrow hers and I used it the week baby decided he wants to be exclusively carried. It did the job, but destroyed my back. Then my neighbor gave me a moby wrap, which I don’t use that often, but it has come in handy the few times I’ve used it. Trust me on this: don’t skimp on the baby carrier if you are planning to carry baby at all. You will pay for it later in Chiropractor bills.
* Play Yard. I think it would have been useful if we didn’t have a crib and a changing table. It just stood there awaiting to be folded away, until my mother-in-law started bringing her three-year-old along. He took a love to the play yard and now hangs out in it whenever everyone is over at our house. This item may find its purpose later, but is definitely not needed for the infant stage of having a baby, unless of course your baby has nowhere else to sleep.
* BRU must have registry checklist includes a bouncer, a jumper, and a stationary entertainer. I don’t believe I am acquainted with which term describes exactly what. I know I got him a thing to bounce in and he loves it. That must be the bouncer. It’s o.k. I guess. Since I don’t know what the other things are for, I assume they are not needed.
* Books, music, dvd’s. We use our computer screen and YouTube. Books find their way to our house on their own from friends and family.
* Infant toys. Like the books, they make their way into our home on their own. What baby actually plays with currently: his bib, a hedgehog his uncle got him for Christmas, the motor from my breast pump, my hair, daddy’s beard, his bouncer, the knobs for hot/cold water in the tub. As you can see, that includes only one toy. One.
* Camping carrier. A regular carrier will do the job just fine!
* Baby monitor. It is ironic that baby monitors are a “safety” item, since it’s debatable whether or not they are even safe. I understand that parents residing in a large house may find a need for it. However, I’ve found that in our compact two-bedroom house we can hear baby crying from any point inside. Our bedrooms are so close that I hear even whimpers and stirs. So far we’ve done just fine without.
* Baby gates. We have no stairs, and chairs do a wonderful job at preventing baby’s one-year-old cousin from entering into rooms we don’t want him in. Actually, there’s only one entrance at all that even needs a “block.” The rest have doors that close. The aforementioned three-year-old grew up in a house with stairs and no baby gates. As a result, he does a fabulous job climbing up and down the stairs on his own.
* Cabinet and drawer locks. Outlet covers. I may or may not find them useful later. No reason to store them prior to that!
I think that about covers it! This list, of course, is based on my own experience, and is probably very different for different moms! However, I wanted to put it out there because when I was doing my research for what I will and will not need, I didn’t feel like there were enough lists of what was useless and why. I hope this list helps someone make an objective decision and not clutter their registry and home with useless items that baby stores market to take advantage of the nesting instinct of expectant moms.
Check out another mom’s list of baby things to have and not to have that I found helpful while making decisions for my registry! (It’s quite different from mine!)