Although babies are needy and require a lot, there are many items that you don’t actually need to keep a baby happy and healthy their first year. The baby business is a billion dollar business trying to sell new parents things they don’t really need. They market these items saying it will make your life easier and that the baby requires them, but it is not true. In fact, babies pass through stages and grow so fast that a product you only use a handful of times or for a short period is not worth the money. This is especially true if the product costs a couple hundred dollars. Save money and only purchase baby things you absolutely need.
Unfortunately, you won’t be sure what you will exactly use until the baby arrives. Start with the basics, and borrow or buy things used. Then, if you need a better item or a new one because it is your life saver and you already wore the first one out, then spend the money and get it.
Items You Don’t Need on Your Baby Registry
The same goes when creating your registry. Only register for the basics and items you really need for the baby and your survival. There are certain things to keep off your registry to make sure you actually get the items that you need for your new baby. The first 4 items on the list of baby things you don’t really need are also big items to avoid putting on your registry. My advice is to avoid putting clothes, blankets, toys, and books on your registry. Here are the reasons why.
1. Newborn – 6 Month Clothes
I suggest not putting baby clothes on your registry and only buying a couple if any yourself. First, you will get so many baby clothes as gifts when the baby is born and leading up to the baby arriving that you won’t need much more. You will probably get some baby clothes at your shower too that you don’t have on your registry. There is just something about cute baby clothes and people love to buy them. A new baby does not need many clothes their first year.
Furthermore, don’t get more than one or two newborn outfits – if any – because they will grow out of it so fast. Depending on how big your baby is when they are born, they may only wear newborn clothes for a week or so. Even if a 0-3 month onesie or sleepwear is big, they will quickly grow into it. Neither of my babies fit into newborn clothes at all.
Most people get you 0-3 or 3-6 month baby clothes as gifts. Babies are actually only in these sizes for several weeks, so they do not need many outfits. If you are excited to buy clothes for your new baby, start buying them in size 6 months or larger.
2. Baby Blankets
Second, you don’t need to put blankets on your registry or buy any on your own. A baby doesn’t need more than several blankets. First you get to take home a couple blankets from the hospital. Then, this is another item that will be given as gifts from others. After clothes people love to buy babies blankets.
You will need a warm blanket for the car (if it is winter) to put on your baby in the carrier since they can’t wear a winter coat or suit while buckled in the car set. This blanket can also be used as a layer on the floor for the baby to lay on or wrapped up in when held. Then they need a lighter blanket or two for the same purposes in warmer months, swaddling, and a spare for if one gets soiled.
Then there are books. Books are great for babies and something you should do regularly with your baby. However, you don’t need to register for them because books will find a way into your home. People love to give books to babies and kids. Plus, at your baby shower you may get a book from each person that attends. It is a common thing for the host to ask guests to bring a book for the baby. Also, books are a great used item to purchase or something that gets passed down from older siblings, cousins and friends.
4. Baby Toys
Lastly, do not register for toys. A baby does not officially play with toys the first few months. Besides, instead of buying toys, babies are just as happy with some common items you have around the house. Click here for household items to use as baby toys. Baby toys are not a necessity, so instead put things on your registry that you absolutely need.
Be purposeful as you make your registry to include the necessities. Also, remember this down the road when you buy new parents baby gifts in the future. Get them things that are helpful and necessary for the baby.
Other Unnecessary Baby Items
5. Wipe Warmer
A baby does not even know if a wipe is warm or cool and wiping goes quick anyway. Don’t waste your time and money on a baby wipe warmer
6. Diaper Genie
I found a regular step trash can worked well for all those diapers instead of buying a diaper genie. Plus, I didn’t have to buy the special bags. In addition, I was able to use the trash can after the baby was done wearing diapers.
I had a couple new mom’s tell me how much they loved the nosefrida. So I registered for one and the filters. However, I only used it once. Instead, I preferred the bulb syringe that we got for free at the hospital when I had a baby. Both times they gave us a bulb syringe and it worked better for me than the nosefrida. It was easier to use, got the nose clear, and was easy to clean.
8. Fancy Clothes
This goes along with newborn to 6 month clothes, but I wanted to make a separate point about it. The first several months you don’t go many places with a baby, much less a place they need to be “dressed up” so there is no need to have all these fancy clothes. Fancy clothes typically are expensive, hard to get on and off, difficult to clean, and are uncomfortable for the baby. A baby typically lives in onesies, bodysuits, sleep n plays, and jammies its first few months of life. Get clothes that are comfortable, easy to clean, and dress and undress.
9. Baby Shoes/Booties
Along with clothes, baby shoes and booties are cute, but serve no purpose. The purpose of shoes is to protect your feet when you walk and keep them warm. Well a new baby isn’t walking and socks will keep their feet warm. Don’t waste money on baby shoes.
10. Newborn Diapers
You may need a few depending on how big your baby is when they are born, but my babies lasted in newborn diapers for only a week before they needed to move up to size 1. Keeping a baby in the wrong size diapers is frustrating for them and you. Wrong size diapers leads to peeing and pooping through diapers and clothes and is uncomfortable for your little bundle. It is better to have a diaper be a little big rather than too small.
11. Baby Food Maker
A baby is either breastfed or bottle fed for most of its nourishment the first year. When it is time to do solids, you can either buy baby pureed food from the store or make your own in the kitchen gadgets you already have like a blender, bullet, and food processor. You don’t need to go out and buy a special baby food maker as the food will turn out the same in your current kitchen appliances.
12. Bottle Warmer
A bottle warmer is another unnecessary purchase because the bottle doesn’t need to be warm. A baby is perfectly fine to drink a bottle cold or at room temp. If you want to warm the bottle a little, you can run it under warm water for a few seconds or put warm water in a large cup and put the bottle in the cup for a minute.
13. Bottle Sterilizer
Instead of spending the money on yet another baby product, simply use a pot with boiling water to clean and sterilize bottle parts. Boil the parts for 5 minutes, cool and you are good. This method also works for cleaning and sterilizing pacifiers.
14. Baby Robe
A baby usually doesn’t like it when they come out of the bath. They are wet, cold, and usually crying. If you have a bath robe for them to wear chances are they aren’t going to wear it for long if at all. Plus they will grow out of the robe quickly.
15. Bath Thermometer
Instead of buying a bath thermometer, feel the bath water with your elbow. If the water is too warm for you, then it’s too warm for the baby.
16. Small Bibs
Babies get messy at meal time so start using the big bibs right away. The small ones may work for the first month or two of solid food, but after that they won’t cover enough area. You will want a bib that covers everywhere they spill otherwise you will end up spending more time and money with laundry.
17. Baby Laundry Detergent
Expensive scented baby laundry detergent is unnecessary and can also be harmful to your baby. Rather, use a value brand free and clear detergent. It is unscented and free of allergens that can harm a new baby’s skin. I use ALL free and clear and Purex free and clear both I can get for $1.99 a bottle on sale. Save money and your baby’s skin with a free and clear detergent.
18. Lots of Christmas and Birthday Gifts
A baby’s first Christmas and birthday are super exciting…..for the parents. Your baby won’t remember a thing from either of these big events. Instead of spending a boat load of money on gifts, toys, and other big ticket items, save your cash for when they get older and can appreciate what you give them. It is still fun to watch a baby try open gifts, so get your baby things they can use or items that you get for them anyway. Wrap up empty boxes or stuff around the house.
19. Car Seat Strap Covers
Car seat strap covers are those little covers that go over the shoulder safety belt portion of a baby car seat. You may think they are more comfortable for your baby, but actually they can be dangerous. A baby may not be tightly secure in their seat in the event of a crash if they have these car seat strap covers on. To make sure your baby is comfortable in the car and avoid the red line on the neck, pull their clothes up as a barrier in between the seat buckle and their neck.
20. Shopping Cart Seat Cover
Wipe a shopping cart seat and handle off with sanitizing wipes instead of buying a shopping cart seat cover. These seat covers can be a pain to get in and out as well while you are trying to juggle a baby and 5 other things.
21. Baby Oil, Baby Powder, Baby Cologne
Skip putting on baby oil, powder and cologne on your baby. These substances really have no purpose and can actually be harmful to your baby. Your baby will already have a beautiful baby smell so there won’t be a need to dress it up with oil, powder or cologne.
22. Baby Bedding Set and Crib Border
It is exciting to think about a room theme for your new baby and look at bedding sets. However, most of the bedding set is not ever used. Nothing should be in the crib with your baby the first year. No pillow, blanket, stuffed animal, crib border, nothing for their safety. Just a waterproof mattress pad for those pee soaked jammies every now and again and a good fitting crib sheet. Actually have 2 good crib sheets for those in the middle of the night sheet changes.
23. Travel Sized Supplies For the Diaper Bag
Most of the time travel sized supplies are the same price as regular sized items. Save your money and get the large or economy size of wipes, diaper cream, lotion, etc as you will use it all.
24. Lots of Baby Bath Toys
The first year a baby doesn’t play in the bath, much less want to stay in the bath very long. So there is no need for bath toys. If they do like the bath, you can use some house hold items to play with like a cup, strainer, and measuring spoon.
25. Baby Swing
The last item on the list of baby things you really don’t need can be controversial. Do you really need a baby swing? Some say you do not need it, while others swear by a swing that it was the only thing that got them through their baby’s first year. So my advice on the baby swing (because it is so expensive to purchase if it’s not something your baby is going to use) is to buy a used swing or borrow one from someone to see if your baby likes it.
For example, I borrowed one from a friend and my first baby hated it, so we didn’t use it. Then my 2nd baby only liked it for a short period of time. I was glad I didn’t buy a new one because I didn’t get much use out of it. The baby swing is one of those items that you don’t really know beforehand because every baby is different. For more baby items that you can borrow or get used to save money click here.
Items a New Baby Needs
We spend a lot of time going over what items a baby doesn’t need. So what items does a new baby actually need? For a comprehensive list of what you all need to do to prepare for a baby click here. For a list of baby clothes you actually need click here.
What Month Should You Start Buying Baby Stuff?
Around 2-3 months into your pregnancy is when you should start purchasing major items. It is ok to look before then, and I would actually recommend it. Start researching, get familiar with products, check with friends and family who recently had babies, what they used, and start writing down your registry and baby item checklist. This way when you are at 12 weeks, you can start shopping the deals and watching for items to go on sale or be watching online marketplaces and garage sales.
This was a list of items that were a waste of money for me – or items I didn’t use. Your baby and baby experience could be much different. In the end, be mindful and thoughtful as you make purchases for your baby. Do not run out and buy every little thing that the media says you should have or you will go broke and not use it all.
If you are unsure if your baby will like or use an expensive product, try borrowing one from a friend or family member first. Alternatively, purchase a used one at a garage sale or online marketplace. Click here for more baby items to get used.
Let me know what you think of the list in the comments below. Is there anything you would swap in or out on the list?
For more on how to prepare for your baby check out my Ultimate Baby Planning Guide. Grab your free 30 item checklist below.
Other Baby Related Posts:
- 30 Things to Do to Prepare For a Baby
- What Clothes Does a New Baby Actually Need
- 10 Items to Stockpile Before Baby Comes
- Best Newborn Gifts That Parents Will Love
- How to Handle Going Into Labor at Work
- 10 Things to Know to Prepare Yourself For Life With a Baby
- How to Prepare Your Home For a Baby
- 20 Best Baby Items to Buy Used or Borrow
- 12 Household Items to Use as Baby Toys