All of the things I registered for as a new parent that I absolutely did not need

Apr 13, 2021

I remember the day my husband and I did our baby registry for our son.

We were so excited to walk around with the little scanner and choose all the baby accessories we’d “need.”

I was in my most comfortable maternity leggings, armed with a huge decaf coffee and a list the length of my chubby arm. But as we started exploring all the products, my enthusiasm started to wane. I began to second-guess everything we were choosing, not knowing what was actually necessary and what was, well, a waste of space, time and money.

That was eight years ago, and while I didn’t have any more children myself, I watched many of my friends have multiple babies. Along the way, I quickly came to realize that a lot of the things that parents-to-be think they’ll need they never actually use. And things that you will use a lot of, like washcloths, should be stockpiled in bulk.

So, I wanted to share with new parents all the things I registered for and absolutely did not need. Take the money you save on the following list and lock it into an RESP for your child instead!

Diaper Genie

Don’t get me wrong: dirty diapers aren’t pleasant. But most households take their garbage out pretty regularly, so if you toss dirty diapers in the trash, they won’t really have time to get foul. Plus, diaper genies are a bit cumbersome, so you’ll keep some clutter out of the nursery, too.

Wipe warmer

Yes, wipes are cold. But babies are tough. Cold wipes build character. It’s annoying to constantly have a warmer plugged in at your changing station for the sake of a few quick wipes each day. And I promise: your child won’t hold it against you if you use room-temperature wipes.

Bottle warmer

When choosing small appliances for the kitchen, it’s best to ask yourself how much you’ll really use something. A lot of seasoned moms and dads agree: bottle warmers are a waste of time and money. You can do the same by popping a prepared bottle into a cup of warm water. Use the money you save on not buying one of these and buy (you guessed it) more washcloths!

Baby-sized clothes

Some littles are born big, so anything that is infant- or 0-3-month sized is barely even worn. You’ll be tempted to amass a collection of cute, teeny-tiny outfits, but your infant will prefer comfort over style and so will you.

Too many cute outfits

OK I get it: putting babies in fashion-forward getups is always a crowd pleaser! But it’s also wasteful. Resist the urge to pick up every poofy, frilly dress or miniature tailored pantsuit you see because, in the end, they’ll wear it for mere hours and will hate every minute they’re in it. Instead, borrow something cute from a friend, take your Instagram photos and put that poor little thing back in a comfy onesie. 

Crib bedding and accessories

Despite the fact that you can find full crib bedding sets with pillows, crib bumpers and comforters, I think babies should sleep with as few accessories as possible. Don’t bother investing in an entire crib collection — instead, use other aspects to personalize the nursery, like wall décor, window treatments and statement-making light fixtures.

Baby bath towels

There’s something undeniably cute about a baby wrapped up in a hooded towel that has a beak and looks like a duck, but it’s a nicety, not a necessity. In fact, it’s been my experience that regular bath towels would dry my little guy off better than a baby-specific bath towel anyway. If you want to buy anything, forego the baby bath towel and put the money toward more washcloths … lots and lots of washcloths.


This one is debatable. Depending on your family’s lifestyle, this could either be a really practical purchase or a buy that barely gets used. We weren’t particularly big travelers in those first few years and more often played host to out-of-towners, so we never used our brand-new pack-and-play (and we’d chosen the Cadillac model with built-in bassinet, lights and sounds). However, if you’re a family who goes away a lot, camps, etc., then a playpen could be very handy.

Baby Bullet

Yes, I made my own baby food, but I never took my Baby Bullet out of the box. It’s cute and all, but I made baby food in big batches and found it easier to just puree everything in a standard food processor and freeze it in ice cube trays (which are perfect portion sizes, by the way). Easy peasy without an extra kitchen appliance cluttering the countertops. I returned my Baby Bullet and bought more washcloths. 

So, that's my list. Rather than building a stockpile of things you may never use, think about your list as pragmatically as possible. Of course you'll want cute things, but get those sparingly. You don't want closets full of stuff that are barely or never used. 

Article Author Jennifer Cox
Jennifer Cox

Read more Jennifer here.

Jennifer Cox is the mama behind Whoa Mama! on Instagram and Facebook, where she shares her craft and DIY projects at home. She is also the mama of an eight-year old. She is a self-proclaimed addict of kids' books, and she admits to spending way too much time after her son goes to bed scouring Pinterest. She's also written for Today's Parent, Parents Canada, Today's Bride, and more.

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