My husband and I were overwhelmed by the aisles and aisles of baby stuff we encountered when we went to the store to sign up for our baby registry. “Do we really need all this stuff?” I mumbled, while he disappeared behind the mountain of Pack ‘n Plays.
“God, I hope not,” I answered my own question.
And yet, there we were a year later, packing for a family trip to the beach with so much stuff in and on top of our SUV, we looked like the Clampetts rolling into Beverly Hills.
You really do need a lot of the stuff you’ll add to your baby registry, but not all of it. Here’s my “do not add” list for baby registries*:
- Wipe warmers. Not only do they drip condensation all over the changing table, they also set up your baby’s expectations for a level of comfort one might receive at the Ritz Carlton or at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago. It’s a cold world out there: the sooner your baby learns that, the better.
- A baby bathtub. It can be handy at first, but they outgrow them fast, and then you wind up bathing them in the bathtub anyhow. And in these environmentally conscious times, all that’s left is to make a planter or an extra large dog bowl out of the darn thing. Note: The sink makes a fine infant tub, too.
- Spoons, bowls, and other feeding supplies. Baby won’t need them for about six months, when he might prefer Thomas the Tank Engine over your Winnie the Pooh dinnerware.
- High chair. Why have it clogging up kitchen space when you won’t need it for at least six months? On the other hand, why not have Grandma pay for this one? It’s a tough call.
- Childproofing stuff. I’d go ahead and get the electrical outlet covers, but other than that, you won’t really need the doorway gates or the cabinet locks right away. And don’t waste your money on too many gadgets, like the toilet lid latch my kids broke into like Houdini. Wait a few months and then see what’s working (or not working) for your friends with kids a little older than yours, and read online reviews before you buy childproofing gear.
- Playmat. A blanket works just fine, too, but some of those playmates do come with fun stuff that hangs just within Baby’s reach. Up to you.
- Portable play pen. We used ours as a portable crib for trips. Other than that, nobody really sticks their babies in a playpen these days.
- Baby swing. It does come in handy if you’d like to prepare lunch with both hands, but I know some babies who hate them. Better to test drive one when your baby is old enough.
- Baby monitor. If your house is big, get one. Otherwise, maybe you don’t need to hear every whimper, sigh, or burp. We had a video one, which really wasn’t necessary, except when my older son started climbing out of his crib. (Relax. You’ve got time.)
*I realize you may have disagreed with some or all of the items on my list, but please maintain some perspective and refrain from calling me all sorts of naughty words, simply because you loved your wipe warmer. Happy holidays!