There are many lists that outline the "must-have" items that every mom should register for, but it is rare to find a list of what NOT to register for. So, I've decided to provide this somewhat subjective list for your consideration...
1. Wipes Warmer - Unless you live in an unusually cold climate, wipe warmers are really unnecessary. Contrary to what the product makers will tell you, babies are actually very adaptable and really won't mind the cool touch of the wipe at diaper changing time.
2. Hooded Towels - A normal towel will do just fine. Baby will outgrow hooded towels by about six months anyway. Instead, invest in some high-quality, super-soft towels that will match your bathroom decor.
3. Baby Shoes - Baby shoes are impractical. Not only are they unnecessary until baby is at the crawling stage, they are also semi-uncomfortable. Bare feet or little socks are much better options.
4. Extravagant Outfits - Sleep-deprived parents will attest to the fact that anything that is difficult to get on or off is not worth it. Ditto for clothes that are ultra-frilly or fancy. Stick with onesies and footsies for newborns - and casual items (jeans, t-shirts, overalls, etc.) for older infants.
5. Bottles, Bottle Warmer, & Bottle Accessories - This seems strange, I know, but you should weigh your post-baby situation carefully. If you are a stay-at-home mom, a work-from-home mom, or a bring-your-baby-to-work-mom, AND you plan on breastfeeding exclusively, you may not need bottles at all. Our little girl went right from breast to sippy cup...
6. Crib - This is a novel concept: no crib. Some parents choose to co-sleep or use a bassinet when baby is little - and then transition right to a twin-size mattress on the floor. This is an intensely personal choice, but do consider whether or not you will actually use the crib - or if it will simply take up precious space.
7. Swing - This item is better borrowed than bought. Or buy one off Craig's List. Even if your baby loves it, he/she will outgrow it quickly.
8. Breast Pump - If you plan to breastfeed exclusively and will not be leaving your baby, a breast pump might not be needed. Talk to other moms to see if they used theirs and how often.
9. Baby Bath Robes - We received 2 baby bath robes as gifts and they are still tagged and hanging in the closet. Babies go straight from bath to towel to clothes - and don't lounge around the house in bathrobes. Buy mom a nice bath robe instead.
10. Diaper Bag - Most hospitals will provide you with a new, black diaper bag after birth. If they don't, ask for one. Even if the hospital doesn't provide you with one, spend your money on a nice, new purse instead. About 75% of the time I just throw a diaper, a wipes case, and an extra outfit in my purse. Diaper bags are too big and bulky for every day use.
I disagree with the breast pump. I think a high quality breast pump is a must. Here are my reasons:
1. When my son was in the NICU for 10 days it was a complete necessity that I pump every 2-3 hours. Obviously this reason won't apply to everyone but you never know when you're going to be put in that situation. We certainly didn't.
2. It helps keep your milk supply up. As soon as my son started sleeping longer through the night my milk supply diminished drastically even though he still wanted more during the day. So I started pumping to keep my demand up.
3. It helps you to relieve the pain when you are engorged. True, a hot shower while expressing milk yourself can also do the trick but it's not always convenient to just hop in the shower.
4. When my son was 6 months old we started him on rice cereal and some fruits & veggies. I would mix in breast milk with this and he took to it a lot easier. Plus it made me feel good that he was still getting a lot of good stuff from my breastmilk even if he wasn't nursing as much.
5. Although I hardly separated from my son during the 13 months that I breastfed him I would occasionally treat myself to an hour at the grocery store by myself. In those situations my husband felt a lot more confident being left with a newborn if he had at least a couple ounces of breastmilk in a bottle as a backup if things got bad.
I actually agree with all of the above. With 3 we have learned the hard way what is needed & what is just clutter.
Personally I would add...
The expensive diaper pails, as if the price is not high when you buy it they hit you for refills left & right. We have just found it easier to use a small garbage can with a lid & empty it once or twice a day.
Baby bath tub, takes up precious bath room space & we hardly used ours.
Overhead infant toy mat, ouch those can be pricey! And the most any of my kids have ever dne is stare for 10 mins before they started to scream.
And a extra car seat base, we have a "family vehicle" I don't think my kids have ever been in daddys car more than once so an extra car seat base unless you will be sharing driving to a caregivers is needless.
Yup thats my list, lol
I like your list, although I don't agree with all the items. It's great to pass along this advice.
My differences of opinion: Even breastfeeding moms should get their kid on a bottle a few times a week so that if they do want to leave for a few hours, they can be flexible and not so dictated by the baby's schedule.
Totally agree about borrowing a swing. Also, if you are a couple of years behind a friend, you could borrow a crib. And a breast pump if you get your own new tubing.
As for walkscore.com, they have a "How it doesn't work" page that acknowledges your comment about safe/scary neighborhoods. Very good points.