20 Items You Really Don't Need on Your Baby Shower Registry
When you’re creating your baby shower registry, think of it as the ultimate present list — the best baby gifts of the year. You certainly will not receive everything you place on there, making it doubly important to be discerning with your choices. Nowadays, there are so many things for new parents that it’s easy to think you need everything when actually you need very little.
We’re certain many of the items on this list are useful even if they’re not essential, and many parents will vehemently disagree with our choices. But, without ruffling too many feathers, ask yourself one question before you put that item on your baby registry: How long will this item actually be used for?
Because, trust us, the more items you put on your baby registry, the more they'll fill your house until your kid is already out of diapers.
Note: Prices are accurate at the time of publication, but they may fluctuate. Follow the links to check current pricing.
What an appropriate place to start! If you’re opting for disposable diapers, do not put them on your registry. You will end up with hundreds of newborn-size diapers and a growing baby who might move up to the next size quicker than you anticipated. This is why your parent friends are always offering you diapers — they were gifted 700 and only used 300.
Luckily, you can donate unused diapers, but it’s better to budget for these purchases and buy in packs of less than 100. Yes, it will be a few dollars more expensive this way but you’re less likely to have tons of extra diapers when baby moves from a size 1 to size 2 in a matter of weeks.
What to get instead: Alvababy Baby Cloth Diapers, One Size 6 Pack with 12 Inserts, $29.99
So, you’re excluding diapers but you want a container to hold soiled diapers. Makes sense. There is no shortage of special garbage pails designed just for stinky diapers to ensure the smell stays in the can. These can cost a lot of money, like the Diaper Genie from Playtex. It retails for about $40 and requires special bags that hold up to 270 diapers. Holy (poop)!
Just do your research about diaper disposals before picking the first one that Amazon suggests.
What to get instead: Dekor Classic Hands-Free Diaper Pail, $29.99
Clothes are an easy gift that everyone thinks new parents need. If you put clothes on your registry, many friends and family members will be at Macy’s eyeing the four pack of onesies with the cute animal designs. Or they’ll find the little shirts that say “organic” or “grown locally.” They’re adorable, but they’re also a waste of registry space.
Newborns do one thing really well: grow. They will grow out of newborn-size clothing in weeks, leaving you with a heap of unopened onesie four packs. Newborn clothing also gets peed and pooped on frequently, and it’s expensive. Try used clothes instead, or stagger the clothing options, asking for items at 3 months, 6 months, 9 months, etc.
What to get instead: Gerber Baby 6 Pack Long-Sleeve Onesies Bodysuit, 12 Month, $20.99
Dedicated Changing Table
Even if you have a dedicated nursery room, this item is a waste of money and space. As a parent, you will quickly learn the value of multifunctionality. A table with one purpose is the antithesis of that.
Instead of putting this large piece of furniture on your registry, opt for a beautiful dresser that can be used for years after baby grows out of diapers. They even make two-in-one changing tables that easily turn into a dresser as another option. One thing you will want, however, is an affordable changing mat that can go on top of the dresser or really any flat surface. You can even get one that’s portable and thus useful at home and on the go.
What to get instead: Delta Children Sutton 3 Drawer Dresser with Changing Top, $179.99
In concept, this item sounds practical and useful. But is it truly necessary? Can you heat a bottle of formula or breast milk without a special gadget? Yes, quite easily. Warm water and a bowl will do just fine for breast milk from the fridge, and formula is mixed with warm water already so heating it up is redundant.
Someone will definitely get this for you, so keep it off the registry — and off your counter, where it’s simply taking up space.
What to get instead: Comotomo Baby Bottle, Green, 8 Ounce (2 Count), $21.99
Baby Food Kit
If you’re a culinarian, there’s no way you’ll be caught dead with some “kit” for preparing your child’s food. For one thing, preparing baby food is really easy. It doesn’t require 18 ingredients and three hours of your Saturday. There is no special kit needed for mashing boiled vegetables.
Use your registry space for something better than this, as it will be six months or more before baby is even eating something besides formula or breast milk. If you do want some kitchen items, however, opt for a simple bowl and spoon and a few storage containers that can go in the freezer.
What to get instead: WeeSprout Glass Baby Food Storage Jars - 12 Set, $29.99
Like clothing, shoes are a natural gift for new parents. And they are super cute! You might even save one pair of baby shoes to give to baby when they’re all grown up and having babies of their own. But do you need shoes on your registry? Not at all. When was the last time you saw a newborn in shoes?
Baby isn’t going to wear shoes for a long time, and you will not know the size of baby’s feet until that time comes. Avoid the disappointment of adorable shoes that end up being too small, and save this purchase for later.
What to get instead: Touched by Nature Unisex Baby Organic Cotton Socks, $6.58
Bottles? What’s the matter with bottles? Every child needs a bottle! The key there is “a” — one, singular bottle. How many bottles will baby use at once? One! Is bottle cleaning a laborious and impossible task? No!
Bottles also change as baby ages, with nipple flow designed for various stages of development. Don’t put bottles on your registry unless you want to end up with 20 specifically designed for newborns. Instead, put a bottle cleaning kit on there so you can keep baby’s dishes away from the kitchen sponge.
What to get instead: Boon Cacti Bottle Cleaning Brush Set, $18.99
We just found out this existed, and we’re pretty sure it’s the most insane item on this list. Parents assure the naysayers that little baby’s butt will be so much more comfortable with an 80-degree wipe doing its thing, but we know from experience that the only thing baby wants in such a situation is a clean area and a slathering of soothing lotion.
Seriously, warm wipes? We consulted the experts and determined that room-temperature wipes build character.
What to get instead: Summer Contoured Changing Pad, 16” x 32”, White, $30
High-Priced Furnishings and Decor
Here we have another example of less is more. It takes babies some time to understand their surroundings, use their arms and legs, eat on their own, go to the bathroom independently and so on and so forth. These are, you know, the milestones, the things to focus on.
So, all those expensive furnishings and pretty wallpaper are really just for the parents. And ask yourself, does the $600 rocking chair rock any better than the $150 one? Baby couldn’t care less either way — what they need is a sense of security above all else.
What to get instead: Graco Sterling Semi-Upholstered Glider and Nursing Ottoman, $220.10
Sheets and blankets are another part of baby’s room that are way over-thought and generally a disaster waiting to happen. All doctors will advise against having any loose items in a bassinet or crib, as they create suffocation or choking hazards. So, quilts and blankets will be draped over a chair to collect dust.
And really nice sheets? Why? Again, baby doesn’t know the difference. The sheets will be peed, pooped and vomited on many times over. Spending a lot of money — or registry space — on designer sheets and blankets is a total waste.
What to get instead: Everyday Kids 2-Pack Fitted Crib Sheets, $9.99
Certainly a video monitor in baby’s room is a must. Actually, no it’s not. An audio-only monitor works just fine and costs a fraction of the expensive video version. And if you’re so keen on sitting there staring at a monitor of baby sleeping, just pull up a chair and watch all the action live.
Save your expensive registry space for key (and expensive) items like a stroller, crib or car seat.
What to get instead: Upgraded VTech DM112-2 Audio Baby Monitor, $31.99
Baby Towels and Robes
It’s so tempting to put a bath set on the registry, but do your best to avoid it. We know, you can already envision how cute baby is going to be frolicking around in their little robe, sitting in the library “smoking” a bubble pipe and reading a riveting mystery novel. Except none of that is ever going to happen, because newborns don’t walk around or read.
Baby will do just fine with a regular bath towel that’s washed with special detergent that’s easy on their skin. Or if you must get a classic baby towel that has the hood, just know that you will never use the hood for anything except an Instagram moment.
What to get instead: Ultra Soft Bamboo Hooded Robe, $32
Many parents will disagree with this one, but hair brushes are far from essential during baby’s first months. For many babies, it takes some time to grow substantial hair. For others, a simple comb works just fine. And in cases of cradle cap, in which scaly and dry patches appear on the head, a comb is actually better at getting rid of the dead skin.
It’s also perfectly acceptable to not comb baby’s hair at all. It’s thin and wispy and dries fast. In short, baby hair requires minimal maintenance, so keep this off the registry for more important items.
What to get instead: Baby Dove Face and Body Lotion for Sensitive Skin, $7.99
We thought this one was essential until we realized six months later that we’d never used it once. This little device isn’t expensive, and that’s why someone will buy it for you if it’s on your registry. The idea is that if baby has a particularly massive and crusty booger that won’t dislodge, you can use a bit of saline solution and a tube with a filter attached to literally suck the offending object out of baby’s nostril. The filter will prevent you from inhaling it, thankfully.
But in the end, this is a pointless gadget. Babies have always had boogers, and they’ve always been able to clear them with a good sneeze or two. Trust nature.
What to get instead: Puffs Plus Lotion Facial Tissues, 8 Family Boxes, $11.46
Say what? Some parents think this stuff is necessary to hide the smell of vomit on their baby. Don’t be one of those parents. There is no factory-created scent that will ever top the general smell of your baby. Plus, there’s a good chance they’ll be allergic to scents early on.
Of course, baby will get ripe from time to time, as all humans do. When baby doesn’t smell wonderful, bathe baby instead of splashing Chanel No. 5 all over that amazing skin.
What to get instead: Babyology All Natural Baby Wash and Shampoo, $28.99
When baby is ready to sit up, baby will sit up. Until then, don’t be a “Bumbo” and include this hideous creation on your registry.
Baby will feel constrained and want to get out of the seat to be closer to you or their toys. Free baby!
What to get instead: Uanlauo Baby Play Mat, $65.99
Traditional Swaddle Blankets
We’ll probably get a ton of poop for this one, but the regular old swaddle blanket is not worth the effort or the space on your registry. When you’re at the hospital, each nurse will have a special swaddling technique they’ll show you. Bless them. But know that you’ll never be able to recreate it at home.
Swaddling is important for helping baby calm down and sleep well, and there are terrific wearable blankets for various stages of development that are perfect for the registry. They have multiple zippers for easy diaper access at night, and they are warm and comforting while not introducing a loose item to the crib or bassinet.
What to get instead: Bublo Baby Newborn Swaddle Blanket, $21.99
Cup Holder Attachment for Stroller
We get it, you’re a hip parent who frequents the hip coffee shop for hip $12 pour-overs. When baby comes along, you’ll need to bring baby to your coffee outings. But will you be able to push the stroller and hold your coffee cup? No. So, why not get a cup holder attachment for the stroller? Also no.
We’re of the mind that there’s absolutely no scenario in which you’ll be forced to drink coffee while pushing a stroller. And strollers are not meant to hold your things, they’re meant for baby and baby only. Leave this off your registry and focus on getting a nice stroller instead.
What to get instead: PBnJ baby Stroller Hooks 2 Pack, $7.98
Too Much of Everything
By now you’ve realized that the general theme of this story is that less is more, and you’ve probably disagreed with us more than once. Great! If you think the Diaper Genie is a must, then get the Diaper Genie and its $20 sacks that hold 2,000 diapers. But don’t get a Diaper Genie for each room in the house.
Whatever decisions you make for your registry, just don’t go overboard. Set limits on how many diapers you’ll accept, how many onesies are appropriate and whether you need two sets of crib sheets or 20 (hint: it’s not 20). After all, babies don’t like clutter, and you shouldn’t either.