By Jen Mearns

When you register for your first baby, the shear volume of items available for one single, tiny baby is outrageous. How do you separate the wheat from the chaff? How do you know which items are necessary and which will be used once—if that—and put in a closet? How do you know what brands are best? I’ve put together a list of items that I found useless and included several items you shouldn’t leave off.

Things to Leave off Your Baby Registry:

Wipes Warmer
Proponents of this item say that it helps prevent the baby from peeing on the changing table. They also might say it’s kinder to wipe with a warm wipe. Well guess what? Baby’s gotta learn, not everything is there for their comfort. Equate it to generic toilet paper. It’s not awesome on our bottoms, but sometimes the cost dictates we use it. It’s really just preparing them for bargain toilet paper. Also, sometimes you gotta go on the road and where is your wipes warmer then?

Worried about the peeing? Put a (cold) wipe over their downtown spot so it doesn’t hit you in the face and commence changing diaper. Boom.

What? Why would a baby wear a bathrobe? I get that they are cute, but you honestly won’t use it. You’ll find that changing a baby’s clothes is one of the most annoying things you’ll have to do. Just thinking about shoving their floppy limbs into sleeves and pants makes me twitchy. Trust me, you don’t want extra, useless items of clothing hanging around begging for use.

Baby Food Maker
Baby food is cheap. But even if you want to make your own, baby food makers are a waste of money. They don’t work as well as a full-size food processor or blender and you can make a lot of foods without blending or processing. Sweet potatoes, stewed fruits, carrots and many other foods can be simply cooked and mashed. Don’t waste a registry spot on this item!

People will buy them anyway, so don’t bother putting them on the registry. Also, before the baby can walk, what do you really need shoes for? Socks in the winter and/or moccasins will suffice for virgin baby feet. I had hand-me-down shoes as well as new shoes and several pairs went completely unworn before my boys grew out of them.

Baby Blankets
Again, people will buy these so don’t waste a registry spot. You’ll end up with many more than you’ll ever need and start using them as giant burp cloths like I did. We got about three to four baby blankets just from the hospital for each of our three boys—plus all the blankets we were gifted! That amounts to about eleventy-billion baby blankets and now that the baby is a toddler, we have no real use for them.

Things to Put on Your Baby Registry:

Baby Carrier
There are so many of these to consider, from the Boba or Moby wrap to the Ergo baby carrier. Even for your first child, these are necessary, but the need goes up exponentially for every child that follows. They allow you to do tasks while holding the baby, keeping your arms free for all the social surfing, um, I mean dishes and laundry, you have to do! Your hands will be free for grabbing the toddler who is climbing on the counters or trying to stick a fork in the outlet. Going into stores with more than one child, one being a newborn, the baby carriers are a must!

Backpack Diaper Bag
I don’t know what I was thinking when I registered for a diaper bag with just a shoulder strap. It was so heavy and horrible. The straps dug into my shoulder and I walked off balance (unless I was carrying an infant car seat, then I was more balanced). The day my backpack arrived, I rejoiced. My back, especially, rejoiced. It had handy little insulated side pockets for bottles. It was amazing!

Don’t register for newborn diapers. You might get them anyway, but you could also deliver a massive chunk of a baby and never use them. They are returnable if you do happen to deliver a ten-pounder. Register for all other sizes. Diapers are expensive! And you go through literally thousands of them before they are potty trained. Major necessity.

Bibs and Burp Cloths
You’ll need at least a million. Just kidding. But if you don’t feel like washing clothes and baby items every single day, you’ll want between ten and twenty of each. Two of my boys were serious spitter-uppers. If you didn’t have a bib or cloth on them, you’d either be wearing their excess milk or they would.

Decent but Not Pricey Stroller
Save the $400-$1000 strollers for the uber-wealthy. A simple Graco stroller with an infant car seat included will run under $200 in most cases and will last you for all of your children. Unless, of course, your family is the Duggars. Then you might have to invest in something pricey, like a five-person stroller.

Car Seat
You can register for the stroller and car seat together and get an infant car seat included. Or you can register for a car seat that will last through all stages. Either way, make sure your car seat is rear facing for the pediatrician recommended length of time.

*Bonus* Unnecessary Toddler/Child Item
Tot juice. In other words, juice that is pre-diluted. You pay the same for half the juice. This is the biggest scam out there! Just buy regular juice and dilute it yourself! You’re welcome.

There you go! I hope this list will help you navigate the baby registry nightmare without wasting money and/or registry spots on useless items.

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