Gear You Don't Need: 10 items to leave off your baby registry

When setting up your baby registry, you'll find plenty of helpful lists of things to buy. But do you really need that pee-pee teepee? (no.) That humidifier? (also no.) Read on for 10 more things not to buy.


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  1. A wipe warmer: Let your kiddo learn an early life lesson in handling adversity. Cold wipes won't kill him. And dried out wipes won't clean him. 
  2. An over-the-door stroller hanger: If you live in a small space, you're probably looking for lots of smart storage solutions. The over-the-door hanger seems like a great idea, but imagine trying to lift even the lightest stroller after a C-section. Even if you had the smoothest possible delivery and recovery, unless you're really fit you'll find that infant seat hard to carry, so lifting a stroller over your head every day may not be the wisest idea. You also want to make leaving with the baby as easy as possible. It's hard to hang a stroller when it's full of diapers, wipes, and water bottles. Better to have a stroller a bit in your way than be constantly packing and re-packing it. 
  3. A baby carrier: A baby carrier is an awesome item to have, but isn't the best item to register for. Your baby may be too small to fit into the carrier you picked during the first trimester. If your baby requires any medical procedures, she may not be able to be in some types of carriers. Your baby might just plain hate the carrier you chose. If you can sit with a little bit of uncertainty, hold off on the carrier until after the baby's born. If you know a lot of other mamas and babies, ask to try out their carriers to see what works best for you before you buy. 
  4. Telescoping baby gates: These easy-to-disassemble and pack gates seem like the perfect thing to take to Grandma's, but buy one and you'll soon learn that no two doorways are the same size. 
  5. Any kind of snot-removal device: Whether it's a sucker or a bulb syringe, or some new thing yet-to-be invented, there's no medical benefit to removing anything from your baby's nose.
  6. A baby food maker: Babies are humans. Babies can eat the same foods as other humans. A blender will suffice. If you're lucky enough to have future grandparents who want to spoil your baby, register for a Vitamix and some ice cube trays. Both will still be useful after the baby switches to solid foods. 
  7. Bibs: A baby will drool on the single square inch of shirt left uncovered by her bib. A toddler will find ever more inventive ways to slip food between the bib and his shirt. Just pack a few extra shirts in your diaper bag. Speaking of which...
  8. A diaper bag: Seriously, you're suggesting we not buy diaper bags? Yes, you need *somewhere* to keep your baby gear. But the volume of barely-used diaper bags on eBay suggests that those beautiful giant bags are more pleasant to carry empty than filled. The bigger your bag is, the more gear you'll end up carrying around. Consider repurposing a small tote bag and sizing up if and only if you find you need more room. 
  9. A diaper pail: Okay, we're with you on the bibs and the diaper bag, but how are we going to survive without a diaper pail? No, it's not feasible to run to the garage or the dumpster with every dirty diaper, at least not in those early months. But there are also these useful items called trash cans, which are often just as well-sealed and much less expensive than diaper pails. Simple Human makes an excellent one with an inner can designed to hold plastic grocery bags
  10. A breast pump: This is an item you probably want, but shouldn't register for. The Affordable Care Act has made it possible for most women to get high-end dual-pumps (Medela's retails at around $300) through their insurers.

A note on registries: If you're just starting out with your registry, you've probably looked at Babies "R" Us and Buy Buy Baby. Those are of course reasonable places to buy baby gear. Those stores and others like them will also give you helpful lists of registry items you need. Just keep in mind that those stores are in the process of selling baby gear. Other discount retailers, such as Target and Amazon, have excellent registry services. These companies also want you to buy baby gear, but they have a slightly longer end-game: research on shopping habits suggests that the store where you buy your diapers is the store you'll try to buy everything else. So companies like Target and Amazon work hard to gain your business through their registry perks. 

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