9 Baby Things (Almost) No One Needs to Buy

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If this is your first baby, there’s no getting around it.

You’re gonna need a lot of stuff!

The list of things you need for a newborn is long and expensive, which is why registries for baby showers are so helpful.

But beware! A lot of the products put out by Big Baby are really just a Big Waste of Money. You won’t need a lot of fancy gadets and gizmos to survive baby’s first year, I promise.

Here are 9 baby registry products you almost certainly don’t need — and a few that you actually do.

Let’s get right into the list!

1. A Wipe Warmer

Not much to say about this one — they’re a complete waste!

You’ll go through tons and tons and tons of wipes, and I’m sure a warm wipe feels great, but it’s not even remotely necessary. I’ve never seen a baby get upset that a wipe was too cold, unless you’re keeping them outside in the winter — which I wouldn’t recommend.

2. A Bottle Sterilizer

Bottle sterilizers use hot steam to kill germs on baby bottles. In reality, they play into every new parent’s irrational fear of germs and illness.

Getting a cheap bin for the dishwasher is just as good and way more affordable, and handwashing bottle parts is completely fine.

3. A Bottle Warmer

Similarly, you don’t need a special device to warm up baby’s milk.

They’re expensive and, in most cases, more trouble than they’re worth.

What we did was fill a jar with hot water and place the bottle inside for a few minutes to take off the chill. Free and effective!

4. Crib Shoes and Booties

I know it’s fun buying cute little clothes and accessories for baby, but anything for their feet is never going to stay on.

Socks are good and can help keep their feet warm, but bulky booties and shoes just make baby uncomfortable.

5. A Changing Table

This one is a little debatable depending on the layout of your house.

We found it was helpful to have a changing table in the living room, for example, so we didn’t need to carry baby up the stairs constantly.

But in reality, you wind up doing most of your changing on the floor. Just buy a cheap changing pad or mat and that’s all you need about 90% of the time.

Dedicated changing tables take up a lot of room, anyway!

6. Special Baby Food Processors

Very admirable of you to want to make your baby its own purees, but you don’t need a specially branded “baby food processor” or “baby food making system.”

We even had one of those things that helps you fill and seal pouches of your homemade purees.

It’s not that they don’t work or you won’t use it, but the baby puree phase is really short lived. You’re better off just buying a good food processor that you can use for other things later when baby has outgrown the purees.

7. Baby Laundry Detergent

There’s nothing special about baby laundry detergent, outside of the markup.

Any gentle detergent that has no added scents or colors is just fine.

8. Apnea Monitors / Snuza Hero

Like everyone else, we were scared to death of SIDS as new parents.

(And I don’t mean to make light of it, it’s a real and tragic problem.)

However, there are a lot of companies out there trying to cash in on that fear.

We bought a Snuza Hero, a little device that clips to your baby’s sleep sack and monitors their chest for breathing, then sounds a loud alarm if it senses that breathing has stopped.

It was a horrible decision. It came loose constantly and sent us frantically running into the nursery at all hours of the night in a state of sheer panic.

If you follow basic guidelines for safe sleep, you don’t need these devices.

9. Baby Oil and Baby Powder

Controversial? Maybe!

But throughout the course of raising two girls, we almost never needed baby oil or baby powder.

Baby oil has its uses for dry skin, eczema, etc. You can always get some if you need it, there’s no need to stock it beforehand if your baby has healthy, normal skin.

Baby powder is similar. We only needed it in case of extreme diaper rashes, not on a day to day basis.

Stuff People Say You Don’t Need, But You Totally Do

I read a bunch of similar lists of baby stuff you don’t need while researching this article, and there are a few common points I heartily disagree on.

Bassinets and various baby seats

Hard disagree on this one.

You just never know what baby is going to respond to, what kind of seat she’ll like, and what specific seating device is going to get her to sleep.

Ideally, if budget allows, you’ll have a lot of options on hand for those first few months at home so you can try stuff. You don’t want to be frantically ordering an expensive baby swing from Amazon at 2am because baby won’t stop screaming.

Get a bassinet, a bouncer, a rocket, a swing — get everything!

Diaper Genie

A lot of people say, “Just throw diapers in the trash and take the trash out regularly.”

Uh, pass.

A poopy diaper in your kitchen trash makes the whole house reek, and you’ll have your hands extremely full with your newborn and you can’t be taking the trash out multiple times a day.

Just get a Diaper Genie — it costs about $50 and you’ll use it every single day for at least 3 years. That’s a good deal as far as I’m concerned.

Infant Bath Tub

I get why people say you don’t need one of these. Newborns only need them for a little while before they can sit up on their own in the tub — around 4-6 months.

But they really do make bathing a newborn much easier and less awkward. And for around $20 for a half-decent one, I think it’s a decent investment.

Wrapping Up

There are a couple of key takeaways here.

First, you don’t need to buy every baby item the advertisements tell you you’ll need. In reality, you need way less than you think!

Second, you definitely don’t need to have a stockpile of absolutely everything before baby arrives. Certain things you can wait and see if you really end up needing them.

Before you go, please check out some of my favorite guides like:

Hope this helps!