Whether you’re registered at Amazon, Target or The Bump, separating wants from must-haves is about as fun as it sounds when it comes to building the perfect registry. Many new parents simply don’t know what to ask for, so their registries become a patchwork of random products that may or may not be worth having.
To make things it’s easier, it’s often better to start with what shouldn’t be included on your checklist: the stuff everyone buys but no one uses. The things that clutter up closets and end up in garage sale piles.
Here’s a look at some of the more unnecessary products you can cut from your registry so that you, friends and family can focus on the baby gear that matters most.
1. Baby Food Maker
Kirstin Morabito over at Mama Bear Morabito recommends skipping the baby food maker, which is typically just a regular food processor in disguise.
“That’s all that those baby food makers really are,” she says. “Don’t crowd up your cabinets with another unnecessary appliances.”
2. Crib Bumpers
Although crib bumpers are still used, many doctors – and the American Academy of Pediatrics – recommend avoiding them because they can easily become a suffocation hazard.
The AAP’s safe sleep recommendations urge parents to avoid using bumpers, soft blankets, pillows and other objects in the crib. They may be cute, but bumpers can cause more harm than good, so many new parents skip them on the registry.
3. Wipe Warmers
This one belongs on the do not include hall of fame: more experts, bloggers and parents mentioned avoiding this baby product than anything else.
“Among the skippable items often cited by veteran moms: Bottle warmers, wipe warmers, fancy nursing capes, and pacifier holders,” says Cari Wira Dineen at Parents Magazine. “More than likely you will never use these things.”
4. Bottle Sterilizer
Your baby’s bottles should be sterilized before they’re first used, but after that, the occasional sterilization with boiling water is usually sufficient to keep things clean. There’s no need to buy a bulky device to do it, and many pediatricians say that washing bottles in a dishwasher is fine for routine cleaning.
“Buying a bottle sterilizer is a total rookie move and an easy way to blow 50 dollars,” says Meg at Bump Boxes.
5. Baby Shoes
Sure, those baby moccasins are adorable, but the reality is this: babies don’t really need shoes for a while. Better to focus on other things you’ll actually need your baby to wear.
And if you’re getting them for warmth, consider other options that will be more comfortable for your baby.
“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,” says Ashley at Baby Gaga.
6. Bulb Nasal Aspirator
A few years back, the Huffington Post wrote an article on why bulb-style aspirators can do more harm than good, and to be honest, today’s newer products simply work better.
Exposing babies to mold through products like the bulb aspirator can even increase their risk of developing asthma, which can lead to a host of health problems.
7. Lots of Toys
“This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t buy your baby any toys, but in the early days and months, all they need is your smiling face and warm voice for entertainment,” says Tammy Jacks at Living and Loving.
Including a few select toys you’ve had your heart set on is great, but you won’t need to stock up for a while. Not only that, but baby toys come and go so quickly that you’ll always be replenishing your stockpile, so there’s no reason to start too early.
This depends on how particular you’ll be, but no matter what, you’re going to get baby clothes. Instead of adding them to your registry, accept that you’ll get some clothes you like and some you don’t. You can always return what you don’t like, or use gift cards to get the stuff you really want.
9. Changing Table (or Pad)
Nursery furniture can get expensive, but that doesn’t mean it’s always necessary. Many parents find that their beautiful changing table simply doesn’t get used because diapers are changed on the fly.
The same can even be said of changing pads, which are often on top of dressers and the like. It might seem convenient as you’re setting up your nursery, but you’ll quickly find that the floor, couch and other surfaces can (and will) become your go-to, impromptu changing pads.
“One thing you might want to consider adding to your registry, though, is a portable diaper caddy that you can keep elsewhere in your house, that way you don’t have to keep running to the baby’s room for necessities every time she needs to be changed,” says Cheryl Lock at Magnify Money.
10. Baby-Proofing Products
One mom we interviewed said that looking back, she wouldn’t have put baby-proofing products – outlet covers, toilet locks, cabinet locks – on her registry.
“It’s hard to know what your baby is going to get into later on,” she says. “We received some safety products on our registry but never used them because our baby just didn’t get into some areas of the house.”