As we enter the unknown realm of the newborn, I think it’s only natural for parents to seek out some semblance of ‘control’ through an amassing of baby paraphernalia.
Never have I felt more overwhelmed, than in the moments preparing for the arrival of our first child. There seemed to be an unending list of things to research, prepare, and purchase.
And at this particular moment in time, I can’t begin to imagine the stressors burdening expecting parents. Many may be experiencing unexpected financial challenges. Others might be missing out on the celebratory showering of baby gifts and well wishes they’d surely have enjoyed just six months prior.
So now, more so than ever, is the perfect moment to consider ideas for simplifying.
If you haven’t registered recently, you should see the checklists retailers are providing these days! They’ll have expecting parents convinced their little one needs just about everything under the sun.
I jest, but seriously, take a peek at this registry checklist from buybuyBaby.
The problem with an enormous amassing of baby paraphernalia?
Well, like anything you bring into your home, each item must be opened, washed, categorized, and stored. And then you have to remember to use it!
So while we want to prepare well for our little ones, I’ve found it helpful to keep simplicity in mind as we do so. Keeping it simpler keeps the focus on enjoying baby, and away from the distraction of too much ‘stuff.’
But how do determine what’s essential and what to skip?
While each parent’s preferences will be different — not to mention each baby’s, I’ve compiled a list of recommendations based upon my own personal experiences as well as trusted feedback from dear friends.
So if you’re interested in simplifying your baby registry checklist, here are 10 items to skip, as you prepare for your sweetest delivery yet.
This article contains ‘affiliate links,’ which will connect you to Amazon. Should you purchase through my link, I may earn a small commission, at no additional cost to you. You can read all the details of my affiliate policy here. Thank you for your support!
1. The Expensive Baby Swing
I confess we were only too excited to make use of the technologically dazzling, must-have product of the moment, our 4moms mamaRoo Baby Swing.
Imagine our disappointment, when, time and time again, our baby refused to give this swing a chance. Couldn’t he see how cool it was?
With all these fancy contraptions on the market, you’d think this distaste for swings must be an idiosyncrasy unique to my babies. But after surveying many mom friends, I’ve concluded there are a whole lot of babies out there who agree.
The babies have spoken; they really just want to be held!
Faced with the reality that your baby may want nothing to do with your swing either, I think it makes sense to plan accordingly.
Alternatives to splurging on a luxury swing include purchasing a new, but less-expensive swing, borrowing a swing from a friend, or even purchasing a gently-used swing second hand.
And if you can divert some of the expense from your swing, I strongly recommend reinvesting it into baby-wearing gear. Baby-wearing delivers the soothing movement swings try to replicate, while freeing-up your hands to get things done.
2. Those Charming, but Expensive Pacifiers
While preparing for my daughter’s arrival, I came across the most adorable little pacifiers, the BIBS Natural Rubber ones shown above.
‘Hmm..$14.99 for two pacifiers, that seems a bit pricey.’ I recall thinking. ‘But they’re made from natural rubber and crafted in Denmark!’ I countered. Naively, I pondered buying just a few and planning to take excellent care of them.
Well, when my daughter arrived, we were delighted to discover that she would, upon occasion, take a pacifier. But forget the mysteries of the Bermuda Triangle, I want to know what happened to those pacifiers!
The rate at which those things disappeared seemed absolutely outrageous.
So, even though these adorable pacifiers are made in Denmark, I can’t in good faith, recommend them to anyone!
These very reasonably priced Philips Avent pacifiers are made in the USA (no small feat!), manufactured of hospital grade silicone, and constructed from one piece of material to avoid potential choking hazards!
Perhaps best of all, should you loose pacifiers at anywhere near the rate we did, you can purchase a replacement set for between $3-4.
3. The Wipe Warmer
Just — no! In my opinion, the wipe warmer creates one more task for parents to do in the middle of the night.
And if baby is rooming in with you (as is currently recommended in the America Academy of Pediatrics’ guidelines for Safe Infant Sleep and SIDS prevention), that warmer will probably sit idly in the nursery.
Try changing baby’s diaper as soon as he or she awakens.
Our nighttime waking routine consisted of a diaper change first (when baby was already wide-awake, and rather angry), followed by nursing and cuddles before returning to the crib.
If you follow a similar progression, I think you can easily get away with a room temperature wipe.
4. The Changing Pad
I realize this item is considered somewhat obligatory, and I, myself am the proud owner of an organic changing pad and at least 5 changing pad covers.
That said, I can count on one hand the total number of times that both of my children have graced this item with their presence.
Perhaps it’s the pad’s inconvenient location in the upstairs nursery that’s to blame?
A trip upstairs means gates to unfasten, children to help up the stairs, upstairs toys to distract us, followed by the rigmarole of herding said children back downstairs to resume whatever activity in which we were previously engaged.
This is, of course, particularly inconvenient if you find yourself in any sort of hurry to leave the house!
For newborns and infants, a towel layered over a re-usable waterproof pad works just as well, can be used anywhere, and makes for easy machine washing.
A simplification bonus, skipping the changing pad means parents can cross changing pad covers off their registry checklist too.
Just be sure to hold on to your baby carefully during changes, as he or she won’t be strapped in.
Have your heart set on the ‘look’ of a changing pad for your nursery? Register away! It certainly adds to that nursery feel. Just don’t be surprised if it ends up serving as décor rather than function.
5. An Abundance of Bottles
In selecting bottles and bottle accessories, remember that while your friend’s sweet cherub may have adored Dr. Brown’s Wide-Neck bottles, your little darling, may not.
You may even end up with discerning little ones like mine, who refuse to drink from bottles entirely.
So if you can, avoid the temptation to stock-up before baby arrives.
Begin with a small collection of 2-3 bottles in different brands and styles.
This way you’ll be prepared to introduce a bottle when you are ready, but will have the opportunity to test out a few styles with your discerning little one.
Once you’ve determined which bottle is a hit, you can order a set to suit your feeding schedule needs.
6. An Extensive Selection of Crib Shoes
Today’s amazing assortment of adorable crib shoes are sure to have expecting parents swooning! Just keep in mind that baby may feel differently.
My son was blessed with quite round, plump little feet, and much to my dismay, dozens of darling pairs went unworn. Despite my best efforts, I just couldn’t sausage his feet into them!
For her part, my daughter, affectionately called our ‘diddle, diddle dumpling,’ was infamous for removing one shoe while at social functions. I spent a fair amount of time scrambling about for that missing slipper.
Ultimately, I decided that, outside of special occasions, fussing with crib shoes seemed like more trouble than it was worth.
Cozy, soft socks are more than apropos for the majority of what’s on baby’s agenda: cuddling, baby-wearing, sleeping, and playing.
7. His & Hers Diaper Bags
As a busy parent, nothing can make or break your day like the status of your diaper bag. Fully-stocked, you sail through the day with ease. Forgot to refill your wipes? Game over, my friend!
Back in the day, when we still to left the house each morning, I liked to check my bag at night to ensure my essentials were at the ready. If a second parent, or a grandparent were to step-in, I would want to ensure that caregiver had my fully-prepared diaper bag in tow.
What wouldn’t I want? I would NOT want to maintain a separate, additional bag for Daddy! And likewise, I don’t think Daddies want to maintain a second diaper bag, with a whole set of separate supplies, for Mommy either.
Look for one diaper bag together, perhaps in a neutral color, that both parents feel comfortable wearing out with baby.
8. Burp Cloths
With my first, I registered for the sweetest little Burt’s Bees Burp Cloths. I loved the soft organic material and the subtle white and baby blue colors. They really were charming items, but I soon discovered, that they were just a bit too small.
When burping baby, more is better. More coverage that is!
Nothing’s more disappointing than spit-up that misses the burp cloth entirely only to cover you instead.
More receiving blankets! In my opinion, this is one item of which you can’t have enough.
I love these gauzy, organic cotton receiving blankets that can act as burp cloths, blankets, car seat covers, and stroller shades. There’s nothing better than one product that can deliver multiple functions!
And if concerned about staining, consider designating one color for use specifically for burping baby.
9. Bath Time Everything
Let me start by admitting that the majority of bath time accessories are pretty darn cute, and make wonderful photo ops as well. Just look at that baby model in the doggie towel!
But, despite their adorable nature, I feel obligated to report that, ‘essentials’ these are not!
I’m talking about the hooded towels, the baby bathrobe, the bath slippers, the drain cover, and the spout cover (whale kneel-y thing; I’m talking ’bout you too!)
We were blessed with many of the aforementioned bath time delights, but to my surprise, we didn’t make much use of them. Early on, I definitely made a point to wrap my baby in some of his darling hooded towels, but fairly quickly, we transitioned to our regular bath towels. They were more readily available and cushier to boot.
It turns out a bath spout isn’t nearly as treacherous as Skip Hop might have expecting parents believe.
And while I was once particularly enthused about the cleverness of the whale kneel-y thing, in actuality, I’ve never made use of that either!
What does one really need for bath time?
Three simple essentials: the infant tub, a small set of organic cotton wash clothes, and a gentle, non-toxic infant soap/shampoo.
10. Make-Your-Own Baby Food Gear
If you’re on the fence about whether or not to make your own baby food, I highly encourage giving it a try!
Homemade food is richer in nutrients, much more affordable, and surprisingly easy to make!
I find products like the BEABA Babycook Baby Food Maker irksome because they may leave parents feeling intimidated or believing that there’s some fictitious barrier to entry.
The truth is that most parents probably already have everything they need to become baby-making aficionados.
For soft foods like banana and avocado, wait until the fruit is soft and ripe. After a rigorous washing, cut a small portion and mash with a fork. Mix with filtered water or breast milk until you’ve reached a consistency that’s right for your baby. It’s really that easy!
For vegetables, steam varieties like organic broccoli for the whole family, and then use your food processor to puree a portion for baby. Mix with some broccoli-infused water from the pot to create a softer, runnier consistency.
The only product you may need to purchase are some small glass containers for storage like the ones shown below. Any glass container should do, we even used mason jars.
This way you can portion a tablespoon or two into each jar for future use. Just be sure to label and date your foods, and to practice sanitary food handling procedures.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading some of my ideas for simplifying that large checklist!
I’d love to hear ideas from other parents about their top registry ‘skips.’
Help out an expecting mama or papa-to-be by heading to the comments section to share a baby product that you could have done just as well without! Happy curating!