Baby registries are a wonderful way for close friends and family to support you by getting you and your baby help through gifts. While it can be easy to get carried away with asking for things through the baby registry, there are some things that you should avoid putting on it.
You can prioritize important things in your baby registry by skipping baby toys, baby mittens, baby shoes, baby clothes, baby laundry detergent, wipe warmers, diapers, Diaper Genies, breast pumps, baby food makers, and sterilizers.
This article will detail the most common mistakes people make when adding things to their baby registry.
What Not to Put on a Baby Registry
1. Baby Toys
It can be tempting to put toys in a baby registry, especially since toys can indeed liven up a nursery. It is easy for guests to assume that babies will definitely enjoy baby toys. However, you might want to reconsider adding baby toys to your baby registry.
The main reason why you might want to avoid putting baby toys in your baby registry is that a newborn baby will not be spending a lot of time playing with them. For the first few months, a newborn will be doing nothing but sleeping, eating, and crying.
Typical baby toys will include squeeze toys, rattles, dolls, stuffed animals, blocks, teething toys, musical toys, and so on. Understandably, you can add a baby toy to your registry if it has a special meaning to you (for example, it is a toy you had when you were a baby).
It is even recommended by the American Association of Pediatrics to keep the baby’s crib free of toys as they can pose a hazard.
Even if you do not put toys in your baby registry, people are still highly likely to gift your baby toys, nonetheless. That being the case, it is better to keep your baby registry filled with items that will surely prove to be useful for the first few months.
2. Baby Mittens
Functionally, mittens are protective in nature. Just like how people use oven mittens to handle hot pans or how people wear warm mittens during winter, baby mittens serve to protect the baby as well.
For one, baby mittens can be used to help babies maintain and regulate their body temperatures. Furthermore, baby mittens are used for protecting babies from them scratching themselves. Additionally, some parents just like having their babies wear them because they look adorable.
However, you will have to reflect if your baby will indeed need baby mittens. Firstly, you will not need baby mittens if your home is maintained at a comfortable temperature.
Secondly, you will not know if your baby will need baby mittens until after they are born. While mittens are necessary to prevent babies from scratching themselves, not all babies will need them. This is especially true if you decide to swaddle your baby while they sleep.
3. Baby Shoes
Baby shoes are practically required when your baby begins to walk around. Baby shoes will help protect your baby from any rough or sharp surface that may be on the floor. Additionally, just like baby mittens, they are absolutely adorable for your baby to wear.
However, baby shoes are not immediate needs for a newborn because you will not be needing them until the baby actually begins to walk. An average child may begin walking at 12 months. Some may start walking earlier, but it is also not uncommon for babies to begin much later.
If you put baby shoes in your baby registry, you will basically be asking a loved one for a gift that you will not use until a year later. For protecting the baby’s feet until then, socks will be a significantly better option.
4. Baby Laundry Detergent
If you have had the chance to look over the laundry detergent aisle, you might have come across baby laundry detergent. According to their marketing, baby laundry detergent is the pediatrician-recommended type of laundry detergent made for baby clothes.
Baby laundry detergent typically comes with a myriad of certifications, signifying its safety for use. Additionally, baby laundry detergent is usually hypoallergenic for sensitive skin.
While the baby’s safety should always be a priority, many consider baby laundry detergent to be an unnecessary purchase. For the most part, regular detergent should suffice. You could even simply toss the baby’s clothes along with the family’s laundry.
However, you should still look into a special baby detergent if you discover your baby getting skin irritations. Until then, you do not have to worry about getting baby laundry detergent.
5. Baby Clothes
Baby clothes are essential pieces that every soon-to-be parent should have. Aside from being adorable, baby clothes will be incredibly helpful for keeping your baby at a regulated temperature, while also protecting them from possible irritants from the environment.
However, you must keep in mind that newborns grow extremely fast. Baby clothes for a newborn will no longer fit in a few months. You must remember that growing and developing are the priorities of the baby. Thus, fitting clothes will be highly temporary.
While baby clothes are indeed important, another thing to keep in mind is that baby clothes are similar to baby toys – people will gift you baby clothes even if you do not ask for them. When people do not know what to give to new parents, the most common gifts are often either toys or clothes.
Instead of asking for baby clothes in your baby registry, you can instead ask for hand-me-down baby clothes since you will only be needing them for a few months.
6. Wipe Warmer
Undoubtedly, there is a plethora of baby equipment that will surely be nice to have. However, while they may be nice to have, not all of them are necessary. Since the baby registry is a way for loved ones to support you and the baby, it is best to keep it to the must-haves. One piece of baby equipment that is surely not a must-have is a wipe warmer.
Wipe warmers are designed as wet wipe dispensers that simultaneously warm the wipes inside. While they do get the wet wipes comfortably warm, there are a few reasons why they should not be added to your baby registry.
Firstly, it is not a necessary purchase. Again, it is indeed nice to have, but you and your baby will surely be fine without it. You will surely have a pack of wet wipes in the area where you will change your baby’s diapers. A loose pack of wet wipes will indefinitely be more convenient than a dispenser that needs to be plugged in.
Secondly, a big reason why you should avoid wipe warmers at all is that many parents have actually reported that they keep forgetting about their wipe warmers. Leaving the wipe warmers running can eventually just dry out the wet wipes.
Your mileage may vary but many babies would not care if their wet wipes were warm or cold. This might be something to look into in the future – but not something to add to your baby registry.
Diapers are certainly necessary for any baby. Until your child begins potty training, you will have diapers around the house for a long time. However, there are reasons why you might think twice before putting diapers on your baby registry.
If you are a new parent, one thing to understand is that diapers come in a variety of sizes – they do not come in a one-size-fits-all. Different brands may use different systems, but for the most part, diaper sizes go from 1-7 with even smaller ones, such as 0, N (newborn), and P (premature).
Even though you will be needing a lot of diapers, the reason why you should not add them to your baby registry is for the same reason as baby clothes. Your baby will grow so fast, and you must get diapers that will accurately reflect the needs of your baby.
Many parents have reported that asking for diapers in the baby registry has often led to an abundance of smaller sizes, such as N or 0. Unfortunately, many of these parents confessed that they were only able to use a fraction of those diapers because their babies outgrew them so quickly.
You can also decide to be specific with the diaper sizes in your baby registry. Asking for a variety of sizes can work. However, you must realize that you will be stockpiling diapers that you will not be using for months, and that can take up a considerable amount of space.
8. Diaper Genie
Many parents would highly recommend the Diaper Genie or some form of a diaper pail. In their defense, Diaper Genies are especially convenient when disposing of used diapers. The capability to store used diapers, even for a short period of time, effectively means fewer trips to the garbage bin.
However, there are some that would argue a Diaper Genie does not need to be placed on a baby registry.
For one, Diaper Genies can be expensive. When asking for gifts from loved ones, it can be difficult to ask for expensive items – especially if it is not completely necessary. While a Diaper Genie can be great, effective alternatives are also available options.
Secondly, you might think you need a Diaper Genie to hold so many used diapers. However, you will have to understand that you will not wait for so many diapers to accumulate anyway. With sufficient disposals, a regular diaper pail alternative should work just as well.
9. Breast Pump
Breast pumps are invaluable pieces of equipment that have revolutionized the way babies are fed. While baby formula is nutritious enough, most mothers would still prefer to feed their babies with their own breastmilk. Aside from directly breastfeeding, mothers can store breast milk aside with the use of breast pumps.
Even though breast pumps are indeed highly important, there is a primary reason why you might not need to add a breast pump to your baby registry: the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
According to the ACA, health insurance companies are required to provide “breastfeeding support, counseling, and equipment for the duration of breastfeeding.” Essentially, you should be able to get a free breast pump per pregnancy from your health insurance plan.
Understandably, you can still add a breast pump to your baby registry if you do not have a health insurance plan. However, if you do, then you can go ahead and skip the breast pump altogether.
10. Baby Food Maker
Marketing can sometimes advertise the same products to different demographics. Just like how there are items marketed toward men and women, even though they are the same items, there are certain products marketed toward babies as well, such as the baby food maker.
For the most part, a baby food maker looks like a blender or a food processor – possibly because they are highly similar in function. Perhaps some baby food makers would have other functions that can make making baby food a bit more convenient.
For such an expensive piece of equipment, you might want to reconsider adding a baby food maker to your baby registry.
If you are interested in making your own baby food, you might rather consider getting a good food processor. Even when the baby has grown up, you will still have a good food processor that you can use in your kitchen anytime you want to.
With the baby’s immune system still developing, it is important to keep everything around them clean and sanitized. In order to make sure everything is sanitized, the easiest piece of equipment to turn to is a sterilizer.
There are different kinds of sterilizers, but they typically function the same way: they sterilize various baby items such as bottles, breast pumps, and more.
While the baby’s safety is indeed a priority, there are certain reasons why you might not necessarily need a sterilizer.
For one, most people have access to clean water. This is probably the number one reason why some people would need sterilizers to begin with. However, if you have access to clean water, then you are already good to go.
Coupled with clean water, soap should be more than enough to get rid of unwanted germs from bottles, nipples, breast pumps, and so on.
Other Things Not to Put
12. Décor Pieces
It might be tempting to pitch in some decorations for the baby’s nursery, but your little one needs a lot of other things more urgently. Décor takes up space, won’t always work with your nursery design, and the material used might even trigger allergies for your infant!
You might be enamored with a certain set piece on a catalog, but frivolities like this are exactly the items you shouldn’t put on a baby registry – your little one’s immediate needs will always take precedence over aesthetics!
13. Baby formula
Putting in a request for baby formula might seem like a safe, proactive choice, but it might actually lead to a bigger hassle for you down the line!
Babies have preferences for certain formula brands, and there’s no way to be sure which of them your little one would like until you go check for yourself. Receiving formula your infant can’t drink would be a waste, especially if the package doesn’t come bundled with the receipt! Don’t put this item on the baby registry yet!
14. Baby bottle set
Baby bottles are an investment for your child’s health, and must be changed at the first sign of damage, discoloration, or brittleness. A bad bottle brand will cost your family a lot more than a good one, due to the constant need for new replacements.
While you might be tempted by a solid sales pitch or your friend’s recommendation, be sure to see these options for yourself before deciding – keep it off your baby registry until then.
15. Wipe warmer
Wipe warmers might make your baby more comfortable, but using them comes at a serious cost. It can dry the wipes out prematurely, and may even compromise sanitation by introducing mold or bacteria specimens to the wipes!
While some wipe warmers have features in place that claim to mitigate those concerns, remember that it still takes upwards of an hour (sometimes even two to three hours!) to warm wipes up for use.
With that in mind, is a wipe warmer really worth putting on your baby registry?
16. Storage containers
Storage containers come in all sorts of sizes and materials, and the best way to ensure you’re picking up exactly what you need is by being the one to buy them. Alternatively, you could also repurpose the containers you already have at home.
A set of storage containers isn’t a bad gift, but it’s something you shouldn’t put on a baby registry – there are a ton of better options for you to choose from.
17. Baby-proofing kits
Baby-proofing kits might seem like a good gift, but they won’t be of much help early on – babies will spend the bulk of their time in their parent’s arms or in their crib. Items like corner guards, outlet covers, and baby gates won’t help ensure their safety, and would simply end up a liability parents have to navigate.
Until your baby reaches the right age to warrant the baby-proofing set’s use, that kit will be collecting dust on a shelf. If you want to gift this to the family at a later date, go for it, but don’t put this on a baby registry.
18. Nursing Cover
A nursing cover isn’t a bad gift, but it’s a pretty intimate item. We’d recommend letting the family pick this up for themselves – that way, they can tailor the size, material, and color of the nursing cloth to their preferences.
Alternatively, they could just reuse an old blanket for this purpose. All in all, it’s actually not a bad baby registry request – you’ve just got way better options!
19. Baby books
Baby books are a thoughtful gift, but don’t put them on the baby registry! Baby books provide something to distract and soothe your little one, but some gentle humming, music, or even jingling keys might do the same just as effectively.
Wait until your child hits their cognitive stride first – at that point, your baby will be more than capable of appreciating the story being read to them!
20. Personalized/Monogrammed gifts
As much as possible, you want baby registry gifts to last not only for your current baby but for any of their future siblings too! Personalized gifts may be pleasing to look at, but won’t be very practical for long-term family use.
Don’t put them on a baby registry, as their exclusivity is actually a big liability! To boot, some of the common examples (i.e. labeled pacifiers, monogrammed diaper bags) can only be used during certain stages in the child’s life.
21. Car seat covers
A car seat cover should never be on your baby registry, as not only is this item needless but it may actually endanger your child.
Car seat covers shelter your child from a lot of distractions. It also has the unfortunate side effect of hiding their current actions, increasing their chance to overheat, and the loose fabric may even serve as a suffocation hazard!
22. Gendered gifts
You want to get baby registry items all your kids can use. A lot of baby registries are started at the 12th week of pregnancy, which is way too early to confirm your baby’s gender (most parents figure it out on the 18th week at the earliest!).
Even if they got your baby’s gender right, gendered gifts might be awkward to use for future children in the family! There’s simply no need for gender-coded gifts.
23. Baby shoes
Baby shoes are undoubtedly cute, but most of an infant’s early life will be spent barefoot. You can dress them up in cute shoes for a photoshoot, but they’ll only start using shoes properly at the 3-month or even 6-month point.
A baby’s shoes need to be light, flexible, comfy, and properly sized. This checklist isn’t feasible to manage straight from a baby registry since you won’t be able to tell how big your infant’s feet will grow to be – and until they can be put to use, baby shoes will just be extra clutter for you to mind and manage!
24. Crib Bumpers
Crib bumpers are a prime example of what not to put on a baby registry. They were designed to keep infants safe, but their track record has proven to do anything but! They were designed to keep infants from being trapped and suffocated, but actually, end up as the biggest contributors to that specific danger at home!
The worst part is that crib bumpers are still in stock for a ton of stores. They’ve been linked to preventable infant injuries and even fatalities. The American Academy of Pediatrics has been fighting to ban the product entirely, so do not put this on a baby registry!
25. Small diaper bags
Diaper bags are actually a really good baby registry gift, so long as they aren’t personalized (allowing it to be passed down for future siblings’ usage).
Don’t get a small one though, as they’re a pain in the butt to keep stocked. A big, bulky diaper bag is preferable to a tiny one incapable of holding all the essentials.
26. Humidifiers (Hot mist vaporizers specifically)
Humidifiers come in two variations: cool mist and hot mist. Cool mist dispensers are fine, but hot mist vaporizers shouldn’t ever be on a baby registry.
Hot mist humidifiers, also known as vaporizers, can badly burn infants. It can happen through close proximity to fumes or the humidifier unit being tipped over. For safety’s sake, stick with cool mist humidifiers.
27. Essential oil kits
Essential oils are often advertised to have therapeutic effects, and speaking from personal experience they can definitely help soothe one’s stress and anxiety!
The problem is that infants won’t be in a position to enjoy that, as their skin and respiratory system are both developing and prone to quick irritation. This risk extends to even diluted oil mixes, so don’t put them on a baby registry.
28. High chairs
The right high chair for your home depends on your home’s furniture – it’d be pretty awkward to feed your infant from a lower dinner table, right? You’d have to get up or constantly stretch your arms to reach them!
Also, some high chairs won’t be able to provide proper posture support for your infant. Bad posture puts strain on their muscles and ligaments, which can weaken or even compromise your kid’s spinal cord development.
29. Changing table
A changing table is added bulk, no matter how compact it might be. You also might not be able to reach the changing table in time, depending on the potty emergency.
You really don’t need this on the baby registry, as most families only need a clean surface to change a ruined diaper. If you want something to help in this regard, you’d be better off requesting a changing mat instead.
30. Diaper cream applicator
While some families swear by diaper cream applicators or spatulas, they can be a little finicky to use. Their effectiveness is also pretty dependent on the type of ointment or lotion on hand, as applying thicker diaper creams can be a pain.
Don’t forget that they also need to be cleaned constantly between uses – or else they might end up inducing infections, which would agitate their rash even more!