Pacifier sterilizing machines? NO.When I was pregnant, I originally wasn't going to register. For anything. See, I'm a bit of a tightwad and I LERVE me a good, frugal deal. I honestly didn't see the point in registering for brand-new stuff that I either didn't need or could mooch from a relative in decent shape.
Plus, I figured it was better for the environment, blah, blah, BLAH.
I have a huge family so the shower was going to be a HUGE affair. A few relatives convinced me to register just for a few items that I did want brand-new (like car seats and strollers, since I had fairly strong opinions on those). And as I walked around the store with that little clicky-lasery gun, I just about wet myself laughing (yes, you can wet yourself laughing when pregnant. SHUT UP) at some of the crappity crap they convince you that you NEED when you have a baby. Chances are, unless you live in a Pottery Barn Catalog, you won't need some of these things.
So, what DO you need?
The YES List
Register for a brand-new car seat. I'm a bit of a safety gal myself. I strongly believe that a BRAND-NEW SEAT (unless you find one second hand with tags still on it or get it from your sister and know she was never in an accident) are best. Plus, they are cleaner. If you've had a few children you know they puke, pee, and poo all over the car seat. ALL OVER IT. Up to the neck, up the back, you name it. Yes, EW. You've been warned.
A stroller/coach/pram/insert moniker here. Look for one with all-terrain tires, comfortable arm-level handles, and good five-point safety harnesses. Jog-type strollers are popular, though usually not as pretty. You don't need pretty. You need pretty darn functional.
A boppy-type nursing pillow. A must-have if you are nursing or bottle feeding. Yep, even if you don't plan on breastfeeding. This was the single most useful thing I could have asked for. I got it brand new but if someone has one to lend, STEAL IT. And get a washable cover for it, too. So that you can wash it in case your dog smells the puke on it and tries to eat it. It may have happened to us.
Bottles and pacifiers. I don't think I have to tell you not to buy these used. Did I mention I'm also a germaphobe? No? Ahem.
Burp cloths or cloth diapers. Babies puke. A lot. And they pee and poo. A lot. I think you might have heard that. But if you have babies like my pukers you may need a hazmat suit, since it will shoot six feet across the room.
A decent diaper bag. They make nice, affordable, semi-fashionable stuff these days. They have tons of pockets for storage and they usually come with a changing pad. A good backpack or large purse works, too. Make sure it's big enough for a change of clothes. For you.
Safety supplies. Please buy outlet covers, baby gates, magnetic cabinet locks, and the like. These are kinda important unless you like baby to have a frizzy hairdo and don't mind heading to the ER on a regular basis.
The NO List
A changing table. That's right, I said A CHANGING TABLE. Totally unnecessary and takes up quite a bit of room. If your kid is a wiggler it's useless after 3 months. If you have a dog, it's unsafe because they are nosy and want to eat the contents of the diaper. Invest in a good changing pad and use the floor or couch. JUST DO NOT LEAVE THE BABY ALONE.
Bottle/Jar Warmers. Really Internets? Most popular registry item? It isn't that hard to warm a bottle to the correct temperature! I know it's convenient, but puhlease. It's almost as useless as wipes warmers. Don't even get me started on those.
Pack-N-Play. Unless you need to cart it back and forth to grandma's house a lot, you don't need one. Chances are a girlfriend or sister has a nearly-unused one sitting in her living room. We used ours to hold toys. Sooooo useful.
A Fancy High Chair. They take up too much room. Unless you live in the Taj Mahal. Also, they are usually hard to take apart and clean and they get fairly disgusting. Look into a 4-stage booster that reclines and can be strapped to a regular kitchen chair. They also come apart to go in the dishwasher. SCORE!
Bouncers/Exersaucers/Swings. Chances are you'll only use them for a few short months and they take up tons of space. They also learn to climb out of 'em mighty quickly. Do yourself a favor and baby proof instead. And don't leave your baby alone, etc., etc. Plus, if you really want to use one (the vibrating bouncy seat was a lifesaver with a colicky baby), I guaran-freaking-tee you someone has one in awesome shape that you can HAVE. For free, even!
A teething feeder. It's a mesh thingy on a pacifier thingy. Someone gave us one of these. He gummed through it in five minutes and I never got it clean enough. Don't. Just don't.
Ridiculously expensive baby mattresses. Despite all their claims, more expensive ones ARE NOT BETTER than cheaper ones. They don't do anything to prevent SIDS. They just like to claim that to scare parents into buying them. Positioning your child and using a firm mattress minus bedding is most important.
Crib bedding sets. They just aren't safe. The bumper pads are a hazard, the blankets are a hazard. You don't need any of it and you don't have to be so matchy-matchy unless you have CDO, like I do (OCD in the right order).
Bassinets or cradles. Gosh, they are super pretty. Unfortunately, your baby can (and probably will) grow out of these in about three seconds. If you abso-smurfly must have one in your bedroom for the first few weeks, think of a co-sleeper type crib instead.
Fancy diaper-disposal systems. C'mon now. They still smell. Take that bad boy right out and pitch it in the garbage. You don't really want that yuck in your baby's room, do you?
One of those pretty crib-to-college sets. UTTERLY USELESS. It's so beat up after a few years of babies (chew marks on the crib rails! Even with protectors!). You're better off getting a decent crib, a solid dresser, and buying a REAL bed in a few years. You know, one without the chew marks?
Satin, silk, plush, designer, fancy, lacy baby stuff. I know you like the way this stuff looks but it just ain't practical. It's a waste of money, it all gets stained and ruined. Plus, in two years your kid is going to want floor-to-ceiling Thomas or Princesses and you'll be gritting your teeth and wishing you never bought it. Yes, even if you decide they will have NO ACCESS TO THOMAS OR PRINCESSES, they will like them anyway. Just to spite you.
Of course, these are just my experiences. Your mileage may vary.
What makes your yes and no list?
Image via Marj Hatzell