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What Not to Add to Your Baby Registry—Yet
Updated on
February 5, 2024

What Not to Add to Your Baby Registry—Yet

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What Not to Add to Your Baby Registry—Yet.
What Not to Add to Your Baby Registry—Yet

You saw it on TikTok. Your work BFF told you about it. You heard from your best friend’s best friend that their baby absolutely could not fall asleep without it. There’s a lot of noise in the baby space—we got it. And it’s easy to get caught up in thinking that you need all the things for the new little person who’s about to make a grand entrance into your life.

But sometimes, as the saying goes, patience is a virtue. And while we love a thorough, well-thought-out baby registry, taking a wait-and-see approach on adding certain items to your list can save you time, energy and money. And hopefully a little stress along the way, too.

These are the top five products and categories to consider waiting on as you build your registry—or skipping altogether.

1. The Two Most-Gifted-Baby-Items-Ever: Clothing and Blankets

If you’re thinking, “These seem like some weirdly specific items to tell someone NOT to add to their baby registry right off the bat,” you’d be correct. But stick with us for a moment.

You may spend hours researching baby gear, painstakingly adding items to your registry one by one. You’re going to add very, very specific things to this registry—likely down to which brand of diaper rash cream or baby wipes you prefer. You’re going to share said registry far and wide with friends, family and coworkers, excited about receiving all of the gifts you’ve spent so much time picking out. And then Great Aunt Sue and your parent’s neighbor and your mother-in-law who “just really wanted to pick something out herself” are going to show up with…probably not a whole lot of what you actually asked for.

While we may be exaggerating a bit to make a point, the sentiment holds: it’s not uncommon for gift-givers to go off registry. And what are the two most popular off-registry items? Baby clothing and baby blankets. It seems people just can’t resist teeny, tiny little clothes and all the blankets, from muslin swaddles to personalized creations. And that’s why we don’t recommend adding a ton of either to your baby registry right from the beginning.

You can definitely add some baby clothes to your registry, especially if you have a style you gravitate to or have your eye on a specific coming-home outfit. Blankets are a good add, too, including a few swaddle options or something cozy to use in the stroller. But don’t go overboard. Babies grow quickly and clothing is often outgrown in a matter of weeks. And you can’t use loose blankets in your baby’s sleep area until they’re at least one year old. Taking a wait-and-see approach with these types of things means you won’t get even more than you already have—especially after Great Aunt Sue hits the sale rack.

2. Big Items for 6+ Months

No doubt building a baby registry can feel overwhelming. There’s a lot to learn and many decisions to make along the way. And while there’s nothing wrong with adding big-ticket items that your baby won’t use until they get a little bit older—think things like a high chair, convertible car seat or a travel stroller—we recommend waiting a bit, for a few reasons.

  • You don’t know what you don’t know. Do you like grow-with-me baby gear or prefer something that focuses on one stage at a time? Are you drawn to gear with an aesthetic that blends in with your home, or are bright, bold colors more your thing? Which baby brands do you find yourself returning to again and again? Before your baby arrives, it’s likely you don’t know the answer to any of these (and more) questions—and you shouldn’t! Figuring out all things baby comes with a steep learning curve. Before you invest in big, costly items, give yourself some time to learn and sort out your likes, dislikes and preferences.
  • Your tastes may change. Similar to the point above—what you think you want before becoming a parent may differ greatly from what you actually want once said parenthood arrives. This goes for parenting philosophies, of course, but for baby gear as well. Things like convertible car seats and travel strollers can be big investments. It’s worthwhile to spend some time as a parent before you make some of these bigger decisions.
  • It takes the pressure off. Parents who are especially overwhelmed at the thought of building a baby registry, listen up. You don’t have to add all the things right now! If you’re the type who could spend hours researching car seats and asking every parent friend you know which bottle their baby prefers, odds are you may be feeling a little burnt out before you even finish creating your registry. Take a break! (And a breath.) Newborns need very little, and there’s zero harm in not adding every single thing your baby may ever need to your registry all at once.

If you do decide to skip these types of items on your initial baby registry but want to offset the cost later on, consider creating a Babylist birthday or holiday wishlist for your little one after they arrive. Just like your baby registry, these lists let you create a wishlist of desired gifts for your baby or toddler and can help guide friends and family toward the things you’d love your little one to have.

3. Too Much of the Same

Pop quiz: what’s the difference between a bouncer, a swing and a rocker? If you know the answer to this question, you also know that you don’t need all three of these items on your baby registry. But lots of expecting parents don’t (see above: you don’t know what you don’t know) and end up adding one of each because they’re just not sure.

When you’re building your baby registry, try to steer clear of too much of any one thing, especially in the beginning. It will help you manage the clutter, but it will also give you a chance to see what your baby prefers before you dive into any big purchases. We also recommend doing a registry edit before sharing it out far and wide. Do you really need that pacifier you saw on Instagram when you couldn’t fall asleep at 2 a.m.? Probably not.

Still feeling nervous about not being prepared? You can always add items to your list as your due date approaches or after your baby shower has passed if you’re having one. (Don’t forget, lots of people wait until after baby is born to send a gift.) But you may also want to keep these points in mind:

  • Lots of retailers offer overnight delivery for a minimal cost. If you think your baby will only settle in a swing but you registered for a bouncer instead, remind yourself not to stress—odds are you can have one at your front door in less than 24 hours.
  • Don’t discount the value of borrowing baby items from friends or purchasing them secondhand. Used baby gear is budget-friendly and environmentally friendly. It’s also a great solution for gear that you only need for a very specific window of time (think swings, floor seats and activity centers). Facebook Marketplace, GoodBuy Gear and Ebay are all good sources for used gear. Just be sure to check for any recalls and clean everything thoroughly before you use it.

4. Stuff You Should Try Before You Buy

Although tiny, your new baby is going to be full of opinions on what they like—and what they don’t. Some babies can’t get enough of swings, while others much prefer bouncers. A bottle that works like a dream for one baby may not make it past the lips of another. Don’t go overboard adding these types of items to your baby registry before you know your baby’s preferences. Erring on the side of less is more will save you time, energy, and money.

Here are a few categories where it’s wise to try before you buy:

  • Bottles. Baby bottle gift sets may offer value, but don’t add more than one (if any) to your baby registry. Instead, choose two or three bottles from different brands, or add a bottle box (a sampler pack of five popular baby bottles) so you can test out which brand works best.
  • Diapers and wipes. All diaper brands fit differently, and a brand that works for one baby may cause massive blowouts for another. There are also factors like skin sensitivity and price to take into consideration. Add a pack or two of different diapers (we recommend newborn size and size ones) and wipes to your registry, then wait to see what works and go from there. You can also consider a diaper sampler pack.
  • Baby skincare. All babies have sensitive skin, but some more than others. Take a wait-and-see approach on things like baby wash, shampoo, lotions and creams so you don’t end up with products your baby can’t tolerate. Start with adding two or three single bottles of different brands onto your registry, or try a small sampler pack.
  • Formula. We get it—baby formula is expensive, and the thought of getting even a small amount as a gift is tempting. But it’s really hard to know what your baby will tolerate before you even start feeding them. Instead, grab some formula samples when you leave the hospital (they’re free!) and go from there.

5. Wants, Not Needs

Here’s the thing. When it comes down to it, babies require very little. Diapers, something to eat, a safe place to sleep…and that’s about it. The rest is just gravy. Think that’s weird advice coming from a baby registry company? We like to keep it real. (And to keep you from stressing out more than you likely already are.)

While we’ll never discourage you from adding whatever you think you’ll like and need to your baby registry—you do you!—these are some of the most popular items that parents decide to skip on their registries or find that they can wait and reconsider after baby arrives.

  • Bottle warmer
  • Bottle sterilizer
  • Wipes warmer
  • Baby laundry detergent
  • Baby shoes/booties
  • Bath thermometer
  • Shopping cart seat cover
This information is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only. We do not accept any responsibility for any liability, loss or risk, personal or otherwise, incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, from any information or advice contained here. Babylist may earn compensation from affiliate links in this content. Learn more about how we write Babylist content and review products, as well as the Babylist Health Advisory Board.