juliet's big list of baby items we didn't need
When you step into Buy Buy Baby for your first registry appointment, you probably have little idea of what a baby needs other than diapers and onesies (and bows, if you're having a girl. Always bows). And the appointment you thought would last 30 minutes stretches interminably to one, then two ... then three hours. Or, in our case, when the Redskins game was about to start and Mike was about to strangle himself with breast pump tubes.
We left the store with a printed-out list that was so thick it broke the stapler (and heart palpitations for how much this damn baby was going to cost). Now, granted, some of those items were not exactly essentials (newborn-size Adidas track suit comes to mind), but I would say 90% of that list were items that the registry consultant told us we HAD to have. Obviously it's their job to get wide-eyed first-time parents to register for the most expensive and esoteric crap, but in retrospect, I proved to be more of a sucker than I realized. Side note: I am that person who they direct TV commercials too: "Pantene makes Selena Gomez's hair look like a unicorn mane!!!"
So, we ended up with a lot of baby items that we seldom or never used. Some of them never made it out of the box, so we were able to return them (DON'T DELETE THINGS OFF YOUR REGISTRY ONCE THEY'RE PURCHASED. Otherwise, places won't have a record of someone buying it for you and returns become a much bigger pain in the ass.), but others were not so fortunate and are still collecting dust and cat hair in the corner of the nursery.
I'm sure these items have been useful to other people, but for me, they were certainly non-essentials. Read on for my picks (un-picks?):
Any type of warmer: Places will try to sell you on warmers for your bottles, your wipes, your lotion, your towels, whatever. Do you know what's not fun? A baby who screams every time a room-temperature wipe touches her bottom. What's even less fun? A hungry, screaming baby who refuses her bottle because it's not the exact temperature she's used to. Save yourself many grey hairs by getting your little angel used to cold, or at least lukewarm.
Diaper Genie: New York apartments are small. I don't need more than one trashcan in the nursery. So, we keep a ton of the disposable diaper bags near the changing table and chuck them out in the common garbage room on our floor.
Toy wipes: While pregnant, this seemed like a great idea. Why wouldn't I want to keep all her toys super germ-free? Well, because research says that's a terrible idea. And if anything ever gets truly dirty, you always have baby wipes; there's no need to carry around a separate set. In that similar vein...
Bottle sterilizer: They're bulky and unnecessary. You can always sterilize bottles upon first use using boiling water and after that, warm soapy water is what works for us.
Baby Bum Brush: When I showed our baby nurse this, she literally laughed at me. Fingers work a lot better and trust me, there will be a lot worse on them than Aquaphor once you have a newborn.
Mamaroo: Many people told us this was a life saver. But the Rock 'n Play is significantly cheaper and does essentially the same thing. This sat in the nursery, unopened for about a month before we returned it and probably just bought 50 pounds of diapers.
Baby mittens: Even newborns like to explore using their hands. If you keep them in mittens all day, they miss out on a lot of touch stimulation. Did this mean that Avvie ended up with scratches on her face almost daily? Yes, so I understand the reasoning behind them, but they weren't right for us.
Travel bag for stroller: The amount of time we've spent on airplane gangplanks trying to get the damn Bugaboo to fit in this thing is embarrassing. We finally just started gate-checking it naked and have never looked back.
My Brest Friend: This is a personal preference, as it seems many people fall either into the Boppy or Brest camp. I didn't like how I had to snap this one around me; the Boppy was just easier to put on AND I could also sit the baby up in it on the floor.
Bumbo: While Avvie did sit in this when we first started solids and we didn't have a high chair yet, it mostly went unused. And its small size means they grow out of it really quickly.
Piddle pad: The dude at Buy Buy Baby told us we had to have at least two of these. Eight months in, I have yet to use one.
Bugaboo breezy sun canopy: I'm pretty sure my baby would be OK in the summer without a special ventilated sun shade. Also, it took about 10 hours to swap one shade for the other.
Bugaboo High Performance Footmuff: I was really disappointed with how this fit our Bee; it never really covered her upper half well. I ended up buying the 7 A.M. Enfant version instead and have been much happier with how warm it is.
What's on your don't list?