A look at baby registry items and how long they are useful

wp-1453501130867.jpegLooking back now on my registry and the growing pile of things sitting in my nursery closet, there are a number of things I wouldn’t register for, if I could do it again. I think, as a first time mom, I got caught up in the immediate future of having a baby and I thought less about the long term. X is 6 months now and I got a lot less use out of some things than I thought I would. So here’s a look at what is gathering dust and what isn’t.

The swing. X spent a good part of his first month is his swing. It gave me a place to put him down when laying him on the carpet seemed unseemly. It ran on 4 c batteries, which got expensive quick. After a month or so, it sat unused. After 4 months, it went back in its box.

The changing table. I bought it at a yard sale for $8. We got a lot of use out of it at first. I don’t think we changed him anywhere else for at least two months. I don’t know the last we changed his diaper on it, though. Usually, I change him on the ground or on the couch. I have a little caddy that I refill with all the essentials.

Bottles. We didn’t buy many, because we got a couple for free for registering. X is mostly breastfed. He gets maybe one bottle a day of expressed milk or formula. We could easily get away with three bottles total, maybe even just two.

Crib liner. Our mesh crib liner is a controversial item. Is it necessary? I have no idea. X doesn’t move a lot once he falls asleep. The experts are torn on the issue and any day now we will have to remove it so baby can’t use it to launch himself over the edge. It looks cute, though.

Blankets. I got more homemade blankets as gifts than I can even use. Not to even include the ones that are store bought. No one can resist buying those soft sweet little baby blankets.

Plain white onesies. I have never once put him in one. I have so many other cute clothes that will only fit him for about ten more minutes.

Pacifiers. X only liked one pacifier. I had probably 10 different ones. He only used a pacifier for 3 months anyway.

Breastpads. I expected to leak. Everyone said I would, so I registered for, and received a pack of 100. 90 of them are still in the box, because I didn’t leak.

Sophie the giraffe. X does like chewing her ears and butt and it’s supposed to be “oh my god just the best teether ever”. Folks, it’s just a dog chew toy. Literally.  He chews on it as much as he does any other toy that will fit in his mouth.

A mobile. These sure look cute in pictures. In reality, you are supposed to take them down at six months so they don’t grab them and choke to death. Some experts even say they are a hazard at all times.

Blooming baby bath. I loved this product. We used it like crazy for about three months. Then he outgrew it. Now I have a slightly mildew smelling flower that sits in the bathroom while we use a traditional baby bath tub.

Breast milk alcohol test strips. This seemed like a really good idea when I was pregnant. In reality, it’s pretty clear when you should and shouldn’t breastfeed. This product is completely unnecessary. If you think maybe you should test your milk to see if it is too potent, then don’t feed. The common advice is, if you can drive, you can feed.

On the reverse side, here are some things we ended up buying that I didn’t register for.

A screen cover for the car seat. We camp a lot. We spend a lot of time barbecuing at Lake Michigan. This handy little thing fits over the car seat and keeps the bugs out. It also has a rain/sun screen.

A car seat sleeping bag. A similar product. It fits over the car seat to block wind and snow. It also helps keep baby warm in the cold Northern winter.

Baby spoons and bowls. Solids come sooner than you think!

Wipes. I cannot stress to you how many wipes you will use.

Diapers. Lots of diapers. These really add up over time, so the more other people buy you, the less you have to buy.

Wine. Go ahead. Be selfish and scan your favorite bottle. A glass of wine makes parenting easier. It makes those long sleepless nights a little more bearable. I am partial to the little one glass bottle set of four. I can open one bottle and have one glass without feeling like the whole bottle will go to waste. If I want another glass, I just open a second little bottle.

Finally, some items we used then and still use. Well worth registering for!

Play mat. X has spent countless hours on his play mat. I rotate the toys that are attached to keep him interested and the bottom is washable so if he spits up or drools I can just throw it in the wash.

Infant seat. Ours vibrates and has a toy bar. X likes to sit in it while I make dinner. I put him in it while I shower and pee so he can be in the bathroom too. He didn’t like it until he was about a month old.

Baby bjorn. We have taken walks around the neighborhood, hiked, even walked on the track at the ymca, and even used it at the grocery store. Much easier than wrestling with a stroller.

Bottle brush. I use it every day. Trying to get a bottle clean otherwise is difficult.

Medela steam bags. I steam clean my breast pump parts twice a week, just to ensure they are clean. I have also used them to clean the baby toys after he was sick or other children handled them.

Baby tylenol and gas drops. I made sure we had some on hand. The first time X got a fever it was in the middle of the night, after his vaccines and it helped make him more comfortable. The gas drops were useful when X was uncomfortable and I couldn’t figure out why. They were harmless and if nothing else made me feel like I was doing something to help him.

Have anything to add?

Bumbo seat. We decided to skip a highchair and just get a bumbo. Easy to wash and small enough to throw in the car for dinner out.


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