Building a baby registry is a lot of fun, and it’s also confusing. What do you need, and what’s best to forget?

I built my baby registry by looking at a lot of friends’ registries, and when I realized some of the things they had on their registries, I realized that I wanted to make mine logical, sensible and realistic.

In this list, find out which things you should leave OFF your baby registry, so that someone who wants to give you a gift can choose from things that will be super useful for you in the first weeks of becoming a parent.

Check out this no-nonsense list, with all my experiences tied to these things your baby registry does not need!

(Note: I made my baby registry on Amazon, and it worked out great)

Wipe warmer

You’ll see that in most blogs about what you don’t need on your baby registry, wipes warmer is #1. I got one as a hand-me-down from our Buy Nothing group, and when I realized that it had to be plugged into the wall and there’d be a wire near our changing table, I just gave up.

Parents survived without wipes warmers for years, and I certainly did as well when I had a newborn.

Baby blankets and receiving blankets

“Oh dear, not another receiving blanket!” I’d say as I unpacked boxes of hand-me-downs and opened gifts that we received that were “off registry” (my least favorite type of gift).

You can really only have so many receiving blankets for your newborn before you start going crazy on where to store them, and people still think that this is an amazing baby gift.

Yes, sure, I used quite a few of them in rotation, from having in the back seat of the car to wipe up spit-up and draping one over my newborn in the stroller while I was out grocery shopping, to block out light and sound.

But do I need 8? No, I really didn’t, and it’s a good thing I didn’t have any on my registry!

Electric baby nail file

I had one of these, and never used it. Some parents say it saves them (if you read Amazon reviews about it), and people like me wound up never giving it a shot because we found ways to get our squirmy child to have their nails cut and filed.

It’s all what works for you, if you want to try out something like this that’s up a level from basic.

Bottle sterilizer

This is a strong opinion, but I hated our bottle sterilizer, and luckily I got it for free. I wouldn’t recommend this type of product to anyone, especially if you have a dishwasher!

While it seems appealing to have a one-stop shop for sterilizing bottles, I think they are silly. We had the microwave-style sterilizer from Avent, and do you know what? It melted our baby spoons that we put in there, so we were left with steaming-hot sterile bottles and unusable baby spoons. That’s the end of my experience with a bottle sterilizer - keep it off your registry.

Those changing pads that are also scales

I learned about one of these from a friend who “has everything,” and a changing pad that doubles as a baby scale can be very useful, but also kind of “extra.” They’re also very expensive (at least the one from Hatch is), and if you are looking for expensive gifts to put on your registry, I promise there are ones that may go further in terms of utility than this.

We were curious about our infant’s weight in between doctor appointments and instead, we just landed ourselves a baby scale that we kept on the bathroom counter. This way, our changing pad (the Keekaroo Peanut Pad, which I recommend!) is just what it is meant to be: a changing pad, and it looked great when setting up our minimalist nursery.

Anything that is dry-clean only

I got a dry-clean only baby gift (cashmere sweater and pants set) and you bet I did not dress my infant in it.

If you have upscale tastes in baby clothes, consider that newborns spit up and potentially poop on everything they get dressed in, so having to go out and have an outfit dry cleaned just seems like something I wouldn’t have time for in the first few months (considering how much you already have to do).

I’d advise against registering for any type of dry-clean only or spot-clean only newborn or baby products like clothes and accessories. If you’re thinking about what newborns really need in the first few weeks and months, it is far from hard-to-clean garments.

Newborn shoes

I put faux leather Ugg-style booties on my newborn one day and as she kicked them off, I thought, “It’s a good thing I never spent my own money on shoes for newborns.” (But they are just so cute)

Newborns just need to wear socks. And if they’re the type of newborn to kick off socks, then they need to go barefoot or sleep and nap in “footies.”

Newborns definitely don’t need newborn-sized shoes, and I’d only recommend shoes when your baby starts crawling, especially if your daycare requires protective foot coverings like ours did.

Too many pacifiers

We put one set of pacifiers on our registry, and our daughter RARELY used them. She mostly rejected pacifiers, unless she was in the back seat of the car and we wanted her to nap. Even then, she did best with pacifiers we got from my friend (we sterilized them).

So after our registry pacifiers, and also buying her a different brand in the early days, she wanted the free pacifiers.

I’d recommend getting a small amount of pacifiers in maybe two brands, but nothing more. See if your baby goes for them; not all babies like pacifiers.

Clothing in sizes for the future

Here’s the thing: babies grow at all different speeds. If you live in a place like LA, with moderate temperatures year-round, that’s one thing, but a lot of people (like me) live in places with all four seasons.

I could have never predicted that my newborn would need to come home from the hospital in size P clothing (P for Preemie), and wouldn’t grow into 3-6m size until she was 5 months old. Some of my friends babies needed 0-3 month clothing almost immediately, and were wearing 18 month clothing before they turned 1. See how all babies are so different?

In my opinion, it’s not worth putting baby clothes on your registry because it’s impossible to predict if your child will need a 6-9m winter coat, or a 9-12m one (and on top of that, all brands run differently, so you may find it’s the wrong size by the time they’re ready for it, and the return window has closed!).

Diapers in future sizes

It may sound interesting to register for diapers in various sizes, but in my experience, it’s best to focus on the “here and now,” which will be the newborn phase.

We registered for some diapers in size 1, but we didn’t even need them until we were done with size N for Newborn, and we just had to hold onto them in the closet or in storage, taking up space.

My best suggestion of what to do among the top essentials for a baby registry instead is to have a Diaper Fund: Amazon baby registries let you do this. Here’s how to make a diaper fund on Amazon registries.

Too many breastfeeding or pumping essentials

A lot of moms start out planning to breastfeed, and then find that it was not for them. I have a few friends who fell into this category. Instead of “using up your registry” for breastfeeding products, start off with the minimum like nipple pads and nipple balm, just some breastfeeding essentials for your registry.

I found that with breastfeeding, there were a lot of products I thought I needed (or products the Internet told me I needed), but then didn’t use. There were also a lot of products I thought I’d never need, but then did, had to order them quickly on Amazon and then used them a ton.

What I’m saying is that it is hard to predict how your breastfeeding journey will go, and how long it will last. It may be better to populate your registry with really useful things for your baby like diapers and wipes, which are crucial for any baby!

Baby formula

Baby formula is expensive, yes: but it’s not sensible to put a lot of baby formula on your baby registry because you might find out that your baby does better with a certain brand. I also have quite a few friends whose children have milk protein or other intolerances, and they have had to switch formula brands two or three times in the first few months.

Formula does have expiration dates, so if you keep it around too long, it won’t even be able to be used by another parent and their child. I think it’s best to purchase formula as you go, and when you’re confident that there is a baby formula your newborn has taken to successfully.

Products with bad reviews

I started paying special attention to “real” reviews and star ratings on products when I became a parent. That’s because I want to know about the quality of a product and how it has worked out in real life for other parents.

If you see a product that has 4 stars or fewer, that’s a red flag, and it should not be on your registry. It means there are quality, longevity or safety issues with this product and you probably don’t want it for your baby.

It also wouldn’t feel great to have a so-so product being gifted by a grandparent or family member and then being really disappointed with it.

Products that are overly girly or boyish

If you plan to have two children or more (or if you don’t know the gender of your baby yet!), then stay away from adding “gendered” products to your registry. They may become seldom used, or not usable at all!

The only gendered products we have around are those that came as hand-me-downs from my cousin (who has boys) or from our neighbor across the street, who has a little girl, plus others in the community. We didn’t put anything too pink, too blue, too unicorn-themed or too truck-oriented in our baby registry.

Baby books

Unless you have sentimental books you are looking for your child to have, the fact is that LOTS of people will gift you books regardless of if you ask them to or not, and books are often available second-hand, and read just the same as brand new ones.

Dan added a few books that he definitely wanted our daughter to have, on our registry, and do you know what? Some people gifted those to us without even knowing, so we wound up with duplicates. (Kind of annoying!)

Baby mobile

This may be just my experience, but my baby never cared a day for the baby mobile we picked out for our baby registry. It was electric and had a battery, and we never turned it on once. Even if it did play music, it probably wasn’t soothing enough to consider using.

I think baby mobiles are silly, and there are far more practical things to register for on your baby registry. I nearly kick myself for having this on my registry because it was so useless.