5 Baby Items You Should NOT Put On Your Baby Registry

Written by: Janel Duffy
Posted: February 20, 2024
While BeHerVillage is the registry where we prioritize giving gifts of support and self-care, we understand that folks who are getting ready for their new baby are probably considering asking for, or spending some amount of money on some baby gear. We have talked about, joked about, and eye-rolled about the lists of baby registry ‘must haves’ put out by different retailers whose main goal is to get people to buy STUFF. Not only are those lists unnecessarily long, but many of the items within the list are pedaled as items that no person should start their parenthood journey without. 
So we acknowledge there are folks out there who are looking for the key items for their nursery,  but we want to help point them in the right direction so they’re spending their research energy, and hard earned money on the things that matter, because after all, there is so much out there that doesn’t. 

Here are 5 things you should NOT put on your baby registry. (Even if every retail store has you convinced otherwise)

I asked Lexi for help on this, as she’s a Postpartum Care Specialist, CLSC, BWE and CPST- and geeks out on understanding baby products: which ones are actually helpful, which ones are nice to have, and which ones are not that great but just using good marketing to convince parents to spend money. 

1. Baby Swing 

Yup. We said it. Don’t register for a baby swing. I know, this is like a quintessential baby shower and new-mom must-have, but hear me out. Lexi gave me some pretty convincing, research-based arguments, and I have my own anecdotal evidence that makes me jump on Team Anti-Baby Swing. A baby swing takes up a pretty decent amount of space, even the swing is on the more compact end of the spectrum still taking up 2ft x 2ft of floor. Your baby may hate the swing (mine HATED the swing) and it might just turn into a swinging laundry pile. 
So asking for $100 or more for a swing that may not even be used more than a few times seems like a wasted chunk of change. Also, many of the baby swings that Facebook mom groups love to love are well over $250 each.
Most importantly, baby swings are somewhat of a safety liability. Swings should actually be used only when a baby has better neck control, which isn’t until 3 or 4 months old– and by then, they will have probably outgrown the swing. As Lexi put it: “Any product that infants are put into [other than a properly installed car seat IN the vehicle] should be no more than at a 10° incline, per the Safe Sleep for Babies Act of 2021 (SSBA), 15 U.S.C. §§ 2057d.”. According to Lexi, skip the baby swing altogether. See if you can put a different higher ticket item onto your registry, like $250 worth of time with a postpartum doula.

2. Sterilizers

While having a sterilizer might feel like an important item to ensure the utmost hygiene for your baby’s feeding parts and toys, a sterilizer might actually be a pretty big waste. The cost ranges anywhere from $80-$400 with the promise to disinfect and dry your baby’s bottle parts. And that’s all well and good if sterilization was actually necessary. Pacifiers, baby toys and other feeding parts really only need to be sterilized once before the first use, and unless otherwise directed by a pediatrician, you don’t need to sterilize between feedings. Lexi also pointed out that many of the sterilizers need to be cleaned and dried pretty often in order to stay clean and sterile themselves, which honestly sounds more inconvenient than it would be to just hand wash bottle parts. So if you’re thinking of asking for a sterilizer as a baby shower gift, Lexi’s advice is to skip it. Just use some hot water and register for some hands-on help in the home instead! 

3. Table feeding supplies

The retail baby registries will have you convinced that you need to register for everything for your baby until they reach toddlerhood, including table feeding supplies like cups, plates and spoons… so. many. spoons. When I talked to Lexi about this, her advice tracked with my own experience: even if you register for the table feeding items, you end up stashing them in a drawer somewhere or a bin and forget about them, and end up buying them again when the time comes to start experimenting with solids. Even though these items tend to be on the less expensive side, forgoing a bundle of baby feeding supplies might save you some cash to spend on a couple of take-out meals when you don’t feel like cooking in those early newborn days.

4. Formula dispensers

A formula dispenser feels like a Kureg, just for formula. Press a button or two and bam– your baby’s bottle is ready to go, at the perfect temperature and consistency. It seems like a worthwhile baby item right? Especially for those middle of the night feeds or the witching hour where your baby needs to be in your arms at all times. But in reality, formula dispensers are overpriced mold machines. Unless you’re following the manufacturer’s advice on cleaning and drying the pieces of your formula dispenser (which is roughly every four bottles!!!), you’re likely creating the perfect warm and moist environment for mold to grow. And we know you don’t want that around your baby’s food source. Deep cleaning (and drying) your formula dispenser daily, on top of cleaning bottles and nipples does not seem worth the $200 price tag. The time saved by mixing the “perfect bottle” is wasted later on to clean and worry about mold and other grossness getting into your baby’s bottles. Instead, use that $200-$300 to hire a feeding specialist, a postpartum doula, or some other in-home help to make feeding your baby go a bit quicker and more smoothly.

5. Pacifiers, diaper ointments and baby blankets

Okay, that’s three things, but per the advice from Lexi these are items that lots of folks put onto their registries that they should just purchase themselves. If you want to have pacifiers on hand, Lexi recommends purchasing the Ninni pacifier for its multiple great qualities, but there’s no reason to stock up on a huge amount of paci’s. You really need one tube of diaper ointment, because you only need to use it when necessary (and not with every diaper change). Most often using breastmilk and ensuring your baby is changed consistently will help keep any rashiness at bay. When it comes to baby blankets, you’ll probably be gifted a few hand-made ones, maybe a couple hand-me-downs– and some of them you’ll want to keep and some of them you might want to get rid of. If having a certain type of baby blanket is important to you, it’s probably best to pick it out and purchase it yourself, so you know you’re getting exactly what you want.

BeHerVillage is the registry that focuses on support and self-care for new parents, but we know that some parents still need some stuff.

AND we know that the baby stuff becomes much more helpful when there is a combination of hands-on, real, live support. So if we can help you save some money by letting you know which coveted baby items to skip, you’ll hopefully have extra funds to allocate to support systems that will help your postpartum experience feel a little better.

BeHerVillage is helping parents like you get the funds they need for the support they deserve! Are you having a baby and are looking for support? Create a registry for support today and get gifted funds directly into your bank account to pay for your support team. You deserve this.

Are you a birthworker who supports new moms? Use BeHerVillage to help your clients pay for your support. Create your free profile here and you can be the best baby shower gift a mom will ever get!
Category: Unique Gifts For Expectant Parents , Getting Ready For Your Baby
Tags: baby registry , postpartum , baby shower , gift registry


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