While I have four kids and some days feel like an old war veteran, once upon a time I was a new mom with my first baby. I was wide-eyed, nauseous and ready to spend all the money on all the things baby.
One thing Mom needs to understand about pregnancy, the nesting urge begins early and with it comes large dollar signs. You will want to buy everything, remodel everything, decorate everything. Companies prey on a pregnant woman’s urge to spend and come up with doo-dads of all shapes and sizes hoping to catch their crazed attention long enough for them to zap it on their baby registry.
During my first pregnancy, I am 100% sure I took the baby registry gun at Target and zapped every single thing in the store. Then, my adorably gracious family and friends bought me tons of it and I bought the rest. What was I left with? A nursery packed to the gills with baby stuff and woodland creatures and every single jingling baby toy.
However, my son slept in a playpen in our room and never once slept in his nursery.
Not one single time.
So, sorry Mom for calling you and sobbing about how the nursery wasn’t done and I was too tired and you came running with paint brushes and the perfect mint green shade of paint just for it to sit unused.
I want to help you, new mothers. I don’t want you to spend thousands on the new baby that is going to need money for ever and ever and ever.
Here are the top 15 items to skip on your baby registry and save your partner the sticker shock of that new baby you’re brewing.
My mother-in-law gave us the most gorgeous wicker bassinet for our son. Lace and frills and beauty were in abundance on this bed. It legitimately looked like something Prince William slept in.
However, the first night we were home, we laid our sweet son in there and he screamed like he was on fire. Maybe it was just him? We saved it for my daughter. Same reaction from her.
Save your money.
If you want something besides a crib, invest in a little rocking bed. First, it saves space and secondly babies want to move and be snuggled. They don’t want to lay in a clam shell like Rosemary’s Baby. A rocking bed was the single best purchase I ever made when it came to babies and I didn’t get any until my twins were born (third pregnancy). Want to save money even more? Skip the crib and just do the rocking bed. I would have absolutely done that to start out. You can always get a crib down the road when the fever of spending money has subsided, somewhat.
14 Wipe Warmer
Let me just start by saying this:
Wipe warmers should be outlawed.
Why? Well, you see, you buy the product with the dearest intentions at heart. You want your little munchkin to never be uncomfortable. What could be more uncomfortable than a room temperature wipes on their sweet little bottoms? You buy it. You stick your wipes in them and they coo with comfort as a nice warm wipe cleans the blowout up that you’re currently wearing.
However, one night you are half-alive, trampling to the crib to quickly change the diaper. The warmer is downstairs. No big deal. He’s asleep. You’ll be quick.
Except the screams that succumb when the not-even-cold wipe hits his bottom wake your elderly neighbors three houses down.
We love the thought behind the wipe warmer. We know you have the best intentions at heart. But, don’t do it. Not only because you’ll find yourself without at some point, but you’ll never, ever remember to fill it or keep it stocked.
Apparently I never got the memo about babies not needing shoes because, yeah, babies can’t walk.
I know what you’re thinking, but they’re so damn cute! The moccasins! The sandals! The pink cowboy boots! Pull yourself together, woman.
First of all, not only do babies not walk. They also have squirming little meatball feet that kick anything and everything off within minutes. So, those UGGs you just had to buy during your second trimester? You’ll lose one somewhere in a Target parking lot or, worse, in the black hole that is your minivan.
Worried about them being cold? The best thing you can do instead of shoes (and even baby socks) is buy the adjustable slippers that allow you to tighten around their little cankles. This way they aren’t kicking them off and your worried little mommy heart knows all ten of their little piggies are comfy, warm and toasty.
12 Baby Blankets
Okay, before you light your torches and grab your pitchforks, I’m not suggesting you leave your little dumpling to freeze without a blanket in every room of the house. That would be sacrilege. However, I am advising to skip it on the baby registry.
The reasoning? I am literally hemorrhaging baby blankets. I have so many handmade, beautiful creations that I regret even buying the polka dot fuzzy ones that I almost got kicked out of Target for rubbing my face in when I was pregnant.
Everyone is going to make you a blanket. Literally, everyone. You’ll have: quilts so gorgeous you won’t want to use them, tie blankets from the not-so-crafty people like me, and store bought blankets purchased as a filler for a gift basket.
11 More Than One Pumping Bra
For this list, I’m allowing you one hands-free breast pumping bra. I exclusively pumped with four kids and the first two never had one, the last two I improvised and saved a ton of money.
Hands-free pumping bras cost big bucks. I was floored to think about spending $50+ on a bra I would wear for a few months. I didn’t even spend that much on bras I wore for a few decades. So, here’s the trick: buy all the clearance sports bras at Target in your size, cut small holes in the nipples and put nipple pads in to cover your headlights. Bang! You’re welcome! I had like a dozen of these handmade nursing bras since you constantly smell like rotten milk and need to wash them.
I’m allowing you one normal hands-free bra if you leave the house. I did not invest in one of these since my last pregnancy that I used my makeshift ones I had twins and was a recluse. So, if you need non-pancake boobs during daylight hours, invest in one regular hands-free pumping bra. No more than that.
10 Bottle Sterilizer
Oh the high hopes I had for myself as a new mom. I had beautiful imagery of me hand washing each bottle and nipple, placing them in a bottle rack to dry then meticulously sterilizing each one in my fancy-schmancy bottle sterilizer.
In reality, I used the thing once, burned my hand on the steam because I needed a clean bottle STAT and chucked it in the cupboard above the fridge and I’m pretty sure it’s still there.
If you must sterilize your bottles because the germs make you icky, buy an epic ton of them and boil them in batches. This saves you the money of the sterilizer as well as precious cupboard space.
Otherwise, you can just be like me and wash them when you run out in a mad, feverish pace and pop them in the closest screaming mouth. Four kids later and they are all A-Okay. No one was diagnosed with Didn’t-Sterilize-The-Bottle Disorder.
9 Too Many Diapers
All I wanted to do during every pregnancy was buy hoards and hoards of diapers, especially during my twin pregnancy. My husband, however, put the brakes to it and explained exactly why this was a terrible idea.
Sure, it’s wonderful to have 27 boxes of newborn diapers ready to go. However, what if you have a huge baby that is in size 1’s right away? Then, you’re stuck lugging all those boxes back to the store for a return. Odds are good you’re going to be way too exhausted to do this and just call your significant other in a diaper panic screaming you, “Need diapers this instant or someone’s going to get crapped on!”
Not that I speak from experience or anything.
Really, though, buy a few boxes in each size and wait it out. Your babies grow fast and the last thing you need to worry about is returning diapers in order to get more, especially when it comes to smaller-sized diapers.
8 Baby Hats
I’m not talking about winter hats that you’ll definitely need when your winter babies are born. I’m talking the ornamental hats that, ideally, will be worn by your newborn all the time around the house to avoid a chill.
All four of my babies were in the 99+ percentile for head size. I needed to use toddler hats almost instantly. Some people have babies will little pea heads that swim in hats and end up in their faces. Odds are not in your favor of the adorable little flower bonnet fitting at the times you need it to.
Also, your baby may not have great hand-eye coordination, but it sure as heck can swat a hat off and get seriously ticked about having a hat on. Save yourself worrying about their faces being covered or screaming until no sound comes out.
7 Changing Tables
Save yourself the small heart attack of finding out how much changing tables cost and just skip it. This is a major expense that is majorly wasteful.
First of all, these cost hundreds of dollars. While they really make a nursery adorable, they just aren’t practical. What are the odds you are going to hike to the nursery to change your baby every time? Especially if you’re like me and your nursery is upstairs? Nope, you’re going to lay a blanket or changing pad on the nearest surface (if you’re classy like me, that’s the dining room table) and get it done ASAP.
Secondly, how long will you need this expensive piece of furniture? We keep our furniture until it no longer stands (which isn’t very long, surprisingly). I’m not buying something just to turn around in two to three years (hopefully) and sell it for a fraction of what I paid.
6 Diaper Pails
Right now, you might be a single person or a couple who takes their garbage out a couple of times per week and see the charm of a pail specifically for diapers to avoid stinking up your house. I’m here to tell you, you don’t need it.
Honestly, you’re going to go through garbage in shocking amounts. Everything multiples. More than likely, you’ll be emptying it once per day and out goes that days dirty diapers. If you really think your baby is going to have the ripest poop on earth, then tie them in a plastic bag before you drop them in the trash.
You’re already going to have to remember to buy enough garbage bags for your actual garbage — do you really want to add on extra bags for a diaper container? Also, odds are you would put the diaper pail in the nursery (because who wants a poop bucket on display in their kitchen?) and you’ll drop the first diaper in there that you change on your expensive changing table and it will be rotten before you think to use it again. Not that I know about that or anything…
What is this, you may ask? Well, it’s a bottle of perfume for you to spritz on your babies hot turds each time before wrapping them up to avoid offending others with your kids stinking crap.
I like the idea behind this, especially since I skipped the Diaper Genie — however, you’re going to lose this bottle to the bottom of the diaper bag and never, I repeat never, remember to take it out while you’re wrestling a squirming, poopy infant with one hand and attempting to wrap a crappy diaper with the other without sticking your finger in the mess.
Also, are we all so afraid of poop smell that we need to have perfume for it? Seriously, if you wrap it in the abundant amount of plastic bags you have stuffed throughout your house and toss it in the garbage you will never be wiser. No one has time to make turds smell better than you do on a daily basis.
4 Crib Comforter Sets
I’m not sure what the creators of baby comforter sets think when they make these adorable packs of baby killing products. Obviously, let’s just skip these bad boys on your next baby registry.
First, they have bumpers which you’ll put on the crib, take a few pictures, feel immense worry and take them off. Many babies have died from being suffocated by these things, you know it, I know it, but, yet, companies continue to make and sell them.
Secondly, the baby comforter. Again, this is a baby smotherer bespackled with raccoons and owls that poses a giant threat for stopping your baby from breathing. Also, they are stiff and awkward and not “comforter-like” in the least bit.
Instead, buy every single fitted sheet in every single color because you will change them and have them heaped in your hamper each and every day. Sometimes, twice a day you’ll be whipping pee-soaked bedding around.
With my first child, I got a cute, green Bumbo that I smushed my wobbly infant into long before he could sit, because that was the magic of Bumbos — seeing your baby do things before he is ready! Yet, it’s awkward and unsafe.
First, if your baby has chubby legs, you have to really put a good college try into squeezing their bread rolls into the leg holes. Then, you look at them, head back, staring wildly in terror and think: why am I doing this?
Secondly, so many babies were tipping over in these chairs and falling off tables, chairs and tall surfaces and injuring themselves. It’s quite shocking that babies that aren’t supposed to sit up yet, tip over, but I snarkily digress.
Bumbo issued safety straps in recent years in an effort to keep babies safer during their tumbles because, serioulsy, the strap isn’t going to keep the chair from tipping over.
2 Crib Mobile
Along with baby comforter sets, crib mobiles are adorable little suffocation tools brought to you by companies a little out of touch with what actually can injure small, helpless babies.
I mean, what could go wrong, six little ropes dangling small toys on pointy sticks all around your child’s head while she sleeps? There’s no way your baby would be interested in grabbing and ripping down such a non-tempting little death-mobile?
Besides being a threat to your baby’s life, mobiles are all well and good for a few months and that’s about it. Because shortly after installing, you’ll think, hmm, I think the baby could strangle herself with this thing, take it down and throw it in the back of the closet, never to be seen again.
1 Excessive Baby Outfits
Now, I’m not talking about avoiding buying dozens of tuxedos for your newborn Jello Jiggler, I’m talking about buying any more than one outfit in each size.
Yes, no more than one outfit in each size. Put back the Little House on the Prairie ensemble that cost you your rent. It’s not worth it. They will never, ever wear it.
What you will want to register for are endless amounts of baby sleepers, either fleece or light depending on the weather and maybe some onesies. Steer clear of special ocassion outfits unless you know, without a shadow of a doubt that first, you actually have a special occassion to wear it to and secondly that you will actually attend and not hide in your house rocking your sweet baby in his stained sleeper you just love so much with his little toe poking out the bottom since they’re too small and you just can’t force yourself to throw it away.
Not that I speak from experience or anything.