With a growing bump in your belly and a registry gun in your hand, it’s easy to go a little nuts scanning every stylish swaddle, sleep-promising bassinet and adorable onesie in sight. And while the list of baby gadgets and goodies available is always growing bigger, your newborn doesn’t really need much. In fact, you could argue that the only thing you have to have is a car seat, diapers and a few onesies. But here’s a list of 12 baby products that we definitely think are overrated. Check your registry and hit, “delete” on this ditch-able dozen.
Photo: Shaun Versey via Flicker
1. Newborn Shoes
When was the last time you saw a newborn baby strutting around in a brand new pair of teeny tiny Converse? Yes, they’re beyond adorable but after you spend 20 minutes shoving his poor little toes into newborn baby shoes, he’s bound to kick them off anyhow. Baby socks or footie pjs are way more practical and still super cute.
2. Fancy & Expensive Outfits
Sure, buying one or two super stylish outfits for a specific event or Baby’s big going home moment can be worth it. But for the most part, sleepers are a much better way to keep your baby warm and covered down to their adorable toes. They also make the frequent diaper changes much easier. And while designer baby duds are super cute, baby clothes have the lifespan of about 15 minutes before you’re on to the next one(sie). Save yourself the cost.
3. Bottle Warmers and Sterilizers
This is a gadget that you definitely don’t need. A mug of hot water heats bottles just fine and good ole’ (fragrance free organic dishwashing) soap and water does the trick to clean dirty bottles and pacifiers. Or join the club of parents who throw it all in the dishwasher at the end of the day. Ta-dah! Washed and sterilized!
4. Educational Videos
Your wee baby doesn’t need to be entertained by videos that promise to make them smart. The best form of entertainment for your baby is you. Taking your baby on your daily errand run will likely make them more than content. They’ll love staring at your face, interacting and just being together out and about.
Photo: Adam Selwood via Flickr
5. Hooded Baby Towels
Another super-cute item that is not essential. They look adorable and fluffy and sweet. But your regular towels do the exact same job.
6. Baby Food Processors
The last time we checked, your regular food processor did the same thing as that fancy baby-food one out on the market. Besides, what happened to just smashing a banana with a fork? It’s also easy to make baby food with a blender. Or, give baby led weaning a try. No extra baby-specific gadgets required.
7. Gadgets That Monitor Baby’s Every Move
Monitors are great, yes. But monitors that keep track of your baby’s every poop, movement, hope and dream? That’s a little bit unnecessary in our opinion. It’s definitely a personal thing, but a simple sound or video monitor will keep tabs on your baby quite well. You have to know your personality well, because the elaborate monitoring gadgets are great for peace of mind – but they also have the potential to turn you into a nervous nelly.
Photo: glenngould via Flickr
8. Pee Pee Teepee
Yes folks, this is real. It’s a cone to protect you from the unsuspecting splash from your little man during diaper changes. Except, the little guy wiggles and giggles so much, how does the thing even stay on? And you certainly don’t need another item to throw in the laundry at the end of the day! Just use your best judgement on this one and skip it.
9. Gimmicky Gadgets
Don’t get caught up in all the products that claim they’ll fix every little parenting problem. We promise you don’t really need a baby bath visor to steer water clear of eyes while you rinse her hair (try no tear shampoo instead), a special sleep hat that folds down over baby’s eyes when it’s time for a nap (try drawing the shades), a wipes warmer (just another thing to find a plug for) or a baby walking harness that helps you hold up tots just learning to walk.
10. Expensive Bedding
It’s gorgeous and stunning and finishes off the nursery just so. But that bedding is also getting peed and spit up on frequently. Not to mention it’ll need to be washed over and over again. A simple, soft fitted crib sheet will do the trick. Bedtime is safest without extra blankets, bumpers and pillows anyway.
Photo: Tabitha Blue via Flickr
You can’t put stuffed animals in the crib until babies are much older – that is if you’re following safe sleep guidelines as you should. And newborns won’t even pay any attention to them. You might as well save yourself the room in your home now because one day, your baby will grow into a toddler and then you’ll likely be overrun by stuffies.
12. Baby Spa Tub
The bubbling whirlpool action and shower stream may sound exotic for your squeaky clean bundle, but most new parents are just trying to keep their newborn’s head above water. Save the spa time for mommy time.
What baby items do you find never gets used? Tell us in a comment!
–Ashly Grzyb & Heather Dixon