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10 Items You Can Leave Off Your Baby Registry

A man and woman holding a newborn baby.
Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock

The excitement (and worries) of being a new parent can easily cause you to buy a bunch of stuff you don’t need. Here are some items you can safely skip.

Being an expectant parent is one of the most exciting feelings in the world, but it’s also one of the most overwhelming. Not only do you have to worry about adjusting to life as a parent, but you also have to think about all the things you need just to keep your baby happy, secure, and comfortable.

Thanks to clever marketing, it’s easy to go overboard when picking out the perfect things for your child. The truth is there are a few popular baby items you don’t need to register for.

Many brands and companies take advantage of your excitement and worry, and push products that are unnecessary. Babies do need a lot of stuff, but they don’t need quite as much stuff as you might think.

Instead of stocking up on bulky products that will just take up space, you can shop smarter by being aware of things your baby won’t need.

Wipe Warmers

Some people will tell you babies hate cold wipes on their little bottoms. While this isn’t entirely out of the realm of possibility, wipes you pull out of a package aren’t cold; they’re room temperature. We’re also pretty convinced babies don’t care.

Wipe warmers take up space on a changing table. Also, if you don’t remember to constantly fill it with water or keep the wipe pack sealed, it’ll actually dry out and waste your wipes. What a waste!

It might be a nice luxury for babies, but it’s unnecessary.

Bottle Sterilizers

Two baby bottles on a table in front, and a mother holding her baby in the background.

The idea behind sterilizing is that it keeps germs away from your sweet baby and makes bottles as good as new. When I was pregnant, other moms convinced me I should sterilize every bottle and pacifier every night.

I bought an expensive, huge bottle sterilizer. However, I promptly returned it after two pediatricians told me sterilizing bottles every night isn’t necessary. It’s a waste of your time and counter space.

There’s nothing wrong with being concerned about your baby’s health. However, sterilizing everything he uses is probably overkill. They need to be exposed to germs at some point.

Plus, if you really want to sterilize things, you can just drop them in some boiling water or pop them in your Instant Pot for free.

Baby Towels

Baby towels come in adorable prints, colors, and patterns, and while it’s tempting to stock up on them, you don’t really need them. Your baby will be fine wrapped in any towel you already own. They don’t even stay in a towel that long, anyway, since you have to get them in a diaper pretty fast.

Hooded baby towels are nice to have to keep your baby’s head warm. Again, though, these aren’t a necessity, given how quickly baby will be out of them.

The cute photos you can take of your baby wrapped in a hooded towel is really the only reason to buy one.

Baby Robes

A baby wrapped in a plush animal robe.

Baby robes are ridiculously cute because tiny baby things are ridiculously cute. I registered for two with animal hoods—and we’ve never used them.

Realistically, your baby’s not going to be hanging out in a robe after her bath. She’s going to be dried off, freshly diapered, and then immediately dressed. Toddlers might have more use for a robe, but little babies don’t need one.

Baby Scented Detergents

Yes, there’s laundry detergent specifically for babies. While it’s a great idea to get hypoallergenic laundry detergent for your little one’s sensitive skin, you don’t need “baby scented” detergent. Not only are these not fantastic for the environment, but the fragrance might actually bother sensitive baby skin.

You can use any laundry detergent for your baby’s clothing. Do yourself a favor and switch to hypoallergenic laundry detergent for the whole family! You’ll save yourself some time, money, and space on the laundry shelf. Detergents like Arm & Hammer Sensitive Skin or Tide Free and Gentle are safe bets.

Infant Bathtub

A smiling infant, sitting in a bright blue baby bathtub.

Most infant bathtubs only hold babies up to ages 3-6 months, depending on their height and weight. You’re only supposed to bathe babies that young once a week, anyway, since washing them too often can dry out their skin. So, how much use would you even get out of an infant bathtub?

You’re better off just being extra careful, and bathing them in a sink, the regular bathtub, or a tub with a bigger age range.

The Primo EuroBath is a good choice for parents who prefer a dedicated bathing tub. It features a double-sided design that grows with your kiddo. One side is sloped to hold newborns, while the other will keep more active toddlers sitting upright while they splash away.

Baby Shoes

Teensy-tiny baby shoes are so cute, it’s painful. And the smaller they are, the more appealing they are. Unfortunately, they’re also a complete waste of money.

You probably aren’t going to put shoes on your baby until he starts walking. For most children, that’s around 12 months. Until then, he’ll only be wearing footie pajamas, booties, or socks. That’s it!

Plus, baby shoes only stay on long enough to look cute before they slip (or get pushed) off. They’re annoying to take on and off when you’re changing a diaper, too.

A Changing Table

A mother leaning very her baby, who is lying on a changing table.
Natalia Deriabina/Shutterstock

Changing tables are nice to have, but you don’t really need one. You likely have a dresser in your baby’s room you can just put a changing pad on top of. You can even add a portable diaper caddy to store all of the diaper-changing accessories you need to keep on hand.

A changing table takes up space and is just one more expense you don’t need. You’ll get much more use out of a changing pad because they’re portable and versatile.

Crib Bedding Sets

When you start shopping for baby stuff, you’ll notice that all of the cribs in stores and online feature crib bedding sets. These usually consist of a matching sheet, comforter, dust ruffle, and maybe even bumpers. They’re adorable and aesthetically pleasing, but they aren’t necessary right away.

A crib sheet is a must, but the matching comforter will go unused for about two years. It’ll hang on a chair until it falls off and gets shoved in a corner. A dust ruffle might be nice, but bumpers are a suffocation hazard, so avoid those.

In other words, just get the sheets. They’re far less expensive and you’ll be able to buy multiple sets with the money you save from skipping the fancy bedding.

Trust us: you’ll need those extra sheets to deal with all the messes your baby makes.

Baby Washcloths

Baby washcloths are just smaller versions of a regular washcloth, which is already small. Do you see where we’re going here? You can use any washcloth you already own to bathe your baby. It doesn’t have to be any smaller.

You might even find you rarely use a washcloth. You can easily soap up a baby with your hands because they really don’t get that dirty during their first year.

There are so many things you do need to buy for a new baby—like a car seat, clothes, and tons of diapers—it just makes sense to skip anything you don’t. Yes, baby robes are adorbs, but those extra crib sheets will be far more useful.

Jessica Booth Jessica Booth
Jessica Booth is a freelance writer for LifeSavvy. She has been working in the editorial world as a freelance writer for over two years and previously worked as an editor for over eight years.  Jessica writes about travel, beauty, wellness, health, food, home decor, and parenting, and has reviewed and tested out products for all of those verticals over the course of her career. Read Full Bio »
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