Oh Baby! Product Overload, Part I: 10 Baby Items Not to Register For


Preparing for a baby is an exciting and special time. It is also overwhelming. I know that shopping for baby products can just reduce a hormonal mama-to-be to tears – there is so much stuff and so many brands and so many places to buy it from. After two kids, I get that! To the point that every time I walk into Babies ‘R Us or Target and I see a pregnant woman with a scanner in her hand, I want to grab it from her and yell at her “YOU DON’T NEED THAT, HONEY, YOU NEED THIS!!! LET ME HELP YOU!!”

Getting Ready for BabyI don’t think the store manager or the pregnant woman would like that though. So instead, based on my experience and that of some of my mama friends, I compiled three lists: Things NOT buy or register for; Things you NEED that no one tells you to register or buy; and things that you should have but should make an effort to BORROW since they are not needed very long.

I prepared for my first baby with all the excitement of an A-type new mom that psychotically researched everything, including car seats on Consumer Reports, so that my baby would have the best of all I thought she needed. Then my second baby came, and that time around I approached baby shopping with a jaded and cynical eye toward the marketing that goes into pushing baby products, mostly because I had no room in my house for more stuff. Now you can learn from my mistakes! These items below are all in my opinion or from my friends’ experiences. If you disagree with any of them, please share why so we can all benefit!

10 Things NOT to buy or register for:

Tummy Time Mat: I know, I know, they are super cute and your baby is going to be so stimulated and excited by all the colors. But just use a blanket for tummy time. Honestly, when they need tummy time they are too young to notice colors and shapes. By the time they are rolling over, you won’t need the tummy time mat anymore. So save the spot on your registry for something else.

Tummy time mat

Formula: Maybe you plan on nursing your baby, if so, great! But if you aren’t, and you’ve pretty much decided what kind of formula you are going to use for your infant before he or she arrives based on all the research you’ve done, coupons you’ve collected and anecdotal evidence from friends…well, undecide that. Don’t register for formula.

Yes, besides diapers it’s the most expensive thing you’ll buy for your baby on an ongoing basis, but trust me when I say…you don’t know your baby yet. And they will definitely have an opinion of their own. I went through FIVE different types of formula with my son because of tummy and reflux issues and GERD, all before he was eight weeks old. And guess what I stupidly did before he arrived? Bought six cans of organic formula because the brand I thought I was going to use was on sale when he was five days old. Big mistake and a waste of money!!! Get samples from your hospital and pediatrician ahead of time…start with the formula you’d like them to have, and then go from there. They’ll let you know if it doesn’t work for them!

Bottles: Sure all those bottle sets of different sizes are cute. But again, same as with the formula, you don’t know your baby yet. I bought bottles for my son, along with all their parts and the nipples, before my son arrived, and we ended up having to go with a totally other bottle designed for colicky babies, plus Y cut nipples, because we had to give him rice cereal to help with the reflux. Pick one bottle you think you’d like to start with, buy one or two three packs, and go from there. Yes that’s a lot of washing at eight feedings a day, but you might save yourself some money.

Also you don’t need different sized bottles. Just get the largest size of the brand you want to use that’s available. The baby does not care if they are drinking from a 12 ounce or four ounce bottle, and eventually you’ll be feeding them more than four ounces at a time anyway. Same with pacifiers if you choose to use them. Start with the one the hospital gives you, see how that goes, and if your baby doesn’t like it, buy one package of one kind and go from there. Same with sippy cups when you start those.

Diaper disposer: They advertise that they lessen odors and keep things sanitized, but by the time your baby is eating solid food and not yet potty trained (a period of time which lasts about three years!), you’ll find this is no longer the case. Skip this. Use a trash can that you empty often in the baby’s room for non-offending diapers, and use individual diaper disposal bags for the bad diapers, and immediately put them in your kitchen trash or the garbage can outside. You do not want to clean and sanitize a diaper disposer, and you don’t want to be buying special bags for it either! Save yourself some time and poopy aggravation.

Mesh Feeder: This seems like a great idea, but the reality of it is….disgusting. Cleaning these things is impossible. Scraping out brown banana threads or mashed peas from the tiny crevices and mesh will only drive you nuts. It won’t get clean in the dishwasher either. Do yourself a favor: Skip it. Your baby will learn to eat just fine without this.

Mesh Feeder

Car seat liner: We live in Florida, ladies. Unless you are moving somewhere cold or your baby is very, very tiny, don’t buy this. My son was 9 lbs. when he was born, and he couldn’t even fit in the car seat with the liner in also. And it made him sweat.

Giant Baby sponge for infant bathing: Just put down a thick, folded towel next to a bowl of clean water and a little soap on the kitchen table or bathroom floor and bathe your still- has-a-bellybutton-scab infant there. (With proper safety measures of course.) You don’t need a giant infant sponge or special seat for this. The belly button falls off pretty quickly.

Monitor: Ok, this might depend on how big your house is, but I’d say if it’s not that big, don’t bother with a monitor. With my first I used a monitor and every.single.little.noise she made behind her bedroom door at night freaked me out. So I didn’t sleep and also woke her up checking on her. With my son we never used one. He slept in our room for the first six months since he had such bad reflux, and then when he slept in his own room, he was so difficult to GET to sleep, I didn’t go check on him when he was making noise. If you feel like you have to have a monitor, get a video one. Then you can see if they really need you, or are just making noise in their sleep. And you won’t wake them up.

Wipe or bottle warmer: Your baby does not need warm wipes. And unless your baby has trouble eating or digesting and you end up finding a warm bottle helps, I’d skip introducing them to warm bottles. Whatever you do at 9 a.m., you’re going to have to do at 3 a.m., and warming a bottle for a screaming baby isn’t fun in the middle of the night when you’re walking into walls from exhaustion.

Changing Table: Get a dresser instead and put a changing mat/pad on top of it. You’ll need the dresser for years. You will not need a changing table as soon as they’re old enough to start using it as a jungle gym.

Is there anything you registered for you did not end up needing?

Meg Sacks
Meg is a working mom of four and an avid community volunteer. She has worked in corporate communications and media relations for more than 18 years, for a Fortune 500 company as well as a non-profit. She took some time off to enjoy life as a stay at home mom after the birth of her first child in 2008. Her sweet, introverted daughter, was excited to welcome her baby brother in 2013, and then boy/girl twins joined the family in 2016. Meg finds being an “office mama” a constant balancing act and never-ending challenge but enjoys the opportunities it offers her for personal growth. A Virginia girl at heart, she loves Florida’s warm weather, the great quality of life Jacksonville offers her family.


  1. Another reason not to use a carseat liner is because no carseat actually allows you to use them. They can render the seat unsafe, which is the last thing you want!

    Couldn’t live without my monitor though. I’m a heavy sleeper. I’d sleep right through everything without the monitor cranked full blast.

  2. Do NOT register for clothes! You will get a million newborn outfits that are oh-so-cute but they grow out of them in a heartbeat! And blankets. Don’t register for those either. Blankets seem to be the first thing you receive as a gift so don’t waste your time registering for it! Definitely register for the boppy lounger though. BY FAR our most used baby item ever. Love it!!!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here