21 Baby Registry Items That Are a Waste of Money and What to Use Instead

by | Aug 19, 2019

You’ll hear a ton of opinions of what products you will need for a new baby. Some will be to make your life easier, help baby sleep better, or provide your baby with stimulation.

When it comes to items on your registry, there are a few that are always suggested, but definitely not required. Save your money (or your relatives money) and put it towards other big-ticket items that will provide a bigger benefit.

Of course, some of these items are nice to have so if you have the extra money to splurge, go for it. However, if you’re already on a tight budget, don’t feel that it’s necessary to purchase these items. At least when until you’re sure that you need it.

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Have a baby on a budget & go without these unnecessary, expensive items for your newborn. Infants need very little to be happy, so on't go overboard on these products.

Top baby items that you don’t need when you’re on a budget

As you know, having a child can be very costly. Take these tips to at least reduce the cost of some of your baby registry items.

Related Post: 17 Mistakes New Moms Make with their Newborns

1. Bottle warmer

Most babies want their milk served warm. This is the natural way that it comes out of the breast and not such a shock when they go to take a sip.

It’s not suggested that you put a bottle in the microwave as it can create scorching, hot spots throughout the bottle that could burn their mouths. However, a bottle warmer isn’t a necessary tool to heat the bottle.

Inexpensive option: Using a pot with boiling water is the simplest way to warm a bottle. Once you stick the bottle in the boiling water, it should warm within seconds.

You can keep the pot on the stove all the time with water already in it to make for quick heating.

Always make sure to check the milk by squirting a little bit on the inside of your wrist (most sensitive part) to ensure it’s not too hot.

Have a baby on a budget & go without these unnecessary, expensive items for your newborn. Infants need very little to be happy, so on't go overboard on these products.

2. Bottle Sterilizer or Sterilizing Bags

Bottles are recommended to be thoroughly washed and sterilized before use. However, an actual sterilizer is definitely not a necessary item.

Inexpensive option: Sterilize your bottles in a pot of boiling water (just like how you would heat a bottle). Simply boil water in a very large pot and throw all your bottle and breast pump parts in there. After just a few minutes they will be sterilized.

3. Fancy crib bedding

Comforters, pillows, and bumpers are just for show and are an additional unnecessary expense. Your baby won’t notice it and typically no one will be seeing your nursery that often anyway.

More importantly, they are not safe to be put into your little ones crib. These items are merely just for show and you will be more annoyed when you have to take them in and out of the crib for bedtimes.

Have a baby on a budget & go without these unnecessary, expensive items for your newborn. Infants need very little to be happy, so on't go overboard on these products.

Inexpensive option: 1 simple, fitted sheet is all your need for your baby’s crib.

Related Post: Must-Haves for Your Baby’s Nursery

4. Baby Towels

Baby towels may fit your little one better, however they are usually more coarse and not as soft as regular towels. Also, your baby outgrows them and they would be better off with a larger size.

Inexpensive option: Use your own adult-sized towels for the baby. This way they won’t outgrow them quickly.

There is also a much larger selection of regular-sized towels and you can pick and choose the quality that you would like.

5. Sound machine

While I do love a sound machine for my baby to sleep, white noise is my favorite sound to put on for him. The Dohm White Noise Machine is a great investment, but may not be worth the hefty price tag if you’re on a budget.

Inexpensive option: The easiest way to make white noise is to use a fan in your baby’s room. Just the slight whisper of the fan will create enough sound to help your baby sleep.

6. Expensive baby monitor

I have no idea why baby monitors are still so expensive when you can get a home camera with wi-fi for so much cheaper! There’s nothing on a $250 baby monitor that a home camera can’t do for a lot less.

Inexpensive items: Save your money and get a Wyze cam pan for your baby’s room. The video monitor connects to your phone on wi-fi so you can actually see your baby anytime from anywhere if you’re not at home.

I love these cameras and now have several throughout our house. They are marketed as smart-home technology and security, but they work fantastic as baby monitors.

The Wyze Cam Pan have all the same features of standard baby monitors, 2 way communication, night vision, panning around the room, and high quality video, but a fraction of the price!

7. Wipe warmer

If you start heating your baby’s wipes, they will have a hard time adjusting when you have to use a cold one! If you’re out of the house without your warmer, your baby may freak out when the coldness touches him.

Your baby will get used to the coldness of wipes like all babies do.

Inexpensive option: If you think your baby really needs a warm wipe, hold it between your hands for 10 seconds and it should take the bite off the coldness of the wipe.

8. Fancy Playard

While I do love my Chicco Lullaby Dream Playard, I definitely didn’t need all the bells and whistles from this particular one. The changer is my favorite feature, but I could have done without the music, mobile, and infant napper.

I never put my baby in the actual playard, but only used it as my living room changing station. Therefore, I could have just used another changing pad or liner on an existing table.

Inexpensive option: There are simple playards if you just need a space to put your baby in for travel and to keep them contained. If you want one with a changing pad, there are less pricey options like this one as well

If you’re just planning on using it for changing purposes, you can simply get a changing pad or changing liner for diaper changes in other rooms.

9. Changing table

A separate changing table just takes up unnecessary space in the nursery. With the bottom being mostly open, you can’t even hide all the random items underneath.

Have a baby on a budget & go without these unnecessary, expensive items for your newborn. Infants need very little to be happy, so on't go overboard on these products.

Inexpensive option: Just buy a changing pad to sit atop your dresser. This takes up a lot less room than an entire changing table.

You can set up a whole changing station including a diaper basket, as well.

10. Large high chair

A stand-alone high chair is a big waste of space, in my opinion. If you have a small kitchen area to begin with, you may want to look into another option.

Have a baby on a budget & go without these unnecessary, expensive items for your newborn. Infants need very little to be happy, so on't go overboard on these products.

Inexpensive option: There are SpaceSaver high chairs that you can situate right atop of a chair that you currently have at your kitchen table. This will not only save you space, but money too!

Although it takes up one of your chairs at your kitchen table, if you don’t have a large family yet, it could be just perfect.

Related Post: 35 Things Expectant Moms Should Know About Childbirth

11. Owlet monitor

Unless your baby has a medical condition which you need to closely monitor, this Owlet baby monitor is not a necessary purchase.

I have heard more false alarms with these things than actual problems that needed medical attention. Hearing a false alarm that something could be wrong with my baby would scare me even more!

Inexpensive option: A standard baby monitor/video system is a sufficient way of monitoring your child.

12. Baby shoes

Your baby doesn’t need to wear anything on their feet until they are walking! Shoes will actually restrict the development in your baby’s feet so they should only be worn when necessary.

Inexpensive option: Bare feet!

13. Dock-a-tot

A Dock-A-Tot is a small bed for your baby that goes right in the parent’s bed and encourages co-sleeping. You want to avoid co-sleeping if possible.

Inexpensive option: Just stick to a standard bassinet and then transfer them to the crib when they’re ready.

14. Sink tub

A Blooming Lotus Sink Tub may be nice for the first few weeks, but depending on the size of your sink, you may not use these for very long.

They also worry me that your baby could easily slide down depending on how it is positioned in the sink.

Have a baby on a budget & go without these unnecessary, expensive items for your newborn. Infants need very little to be happy, so on't go overboard on these products.

Inexpensive option: You’re going to need a regular tub for your baby so just get an all-in-one tub that you can use from when they’re a newborn until they’re big enough to sit in the regular tub on their own.

These all-in-one tubs provide a sling that you can use during the newborn months. Just place the tub on a counter so you don’t hurt your back!

Related Post: Best Infant Toys for Development and Stimulation

15. Baby robes

These are definitely not necessary. All you need post-bath is a quick towel dry-off. They won’t even stay in a robe for long.

Inexpensive option: Forgo the robes and just use a towel for all your bathing needs.

16. Tons of dress up outfits

As a first time mom, you probably couldn’t wait to get your hands on as many cute newborn clothes as possible. The frilly little dresses and baby button down shirts are too much to handle!

However, at this young of an age, your baby will live in footed pajamas or onesies! Everything else is just a hassle to take on and off and isn’t conducive of diaper changes, spit ups, and naps.

Getting dressed up is a rare occasion because you shouldn’t be taking a newborn out of the house anyway.

Not only that, but your baby will grow out of these garments so quickly that you may be left with so many outfits with tags still on them. I hated when I had to switch to the next size up, but I still had outfits that were never used in her closet!

Inexpensive option: Borrow as many baby clothes as you can or purchase them second-hand. You can find treasures of baby clothes that were only worn once, if at all, at garage sales, Facebook Marketplace, or a local consignment shop.

You should be able to find moms unloading baby clothes very often because they are so quickly used that most people want to get the clutter out of the house!

Also, any clothing investment that you make for baby clothes, make sure they are comfortable, one pieces. Your baby will live in pajamas!

17. Baby Mittens and Socks

Mittens and socks are a great idea, however often they just fall off so easily. You want to keep your baby’s hands and feet warm and prevent them from scratching themselves with those sharp nails, but there are better ways to do this.

Inexpensive option: Instead, opt for one piece sleeper pajamas that have footies and fold-over mitten built in to them like Carter’s Sleep n Play. This way you can fold the mitten cuff over their hand when you need to, but you can also expose their hand, as well.

*The fold over cuffs are typically only offered on the newborn or 0-3 month size.

18. Car seat protector

These are unnecessary and not crash tested with all car seats. You should not have anything else with your baby’s car seat unless it comes with it.

Have a baby on a budget & go without these unnecessary, expensive items for your newborn. Infants need very little to be happy, so on't go overboard on these products.

Inexpensive option: Nothing. You don’t need anything lining your car seat, especially for a young baby.

Maybe down the road when you have a toddler who is making a mess back there, it would be beneficial. However, babies don’t make messes in the car until they are eating snacks in the back seat.

Related Post: 29 Can’t-Live-Without Items for the First Few Weeks with Your Newborn

19. Newborn hats

Your baby’s head doesn’t need to be covered unless you are going to be outside in cold, winter months. Even if it is the winter, you may opt for a heavier wool hat out while outside, not the thin ones that you typically see.

These hats quickly come off of their head and are just not necessary for your baby to wear.

Inexpensive option: Grab a couple free hats from the hospital. They will be more than willing to give you a couple to take home if necessary.

20. Baby Bullet Food Processor

Even if you are planning on making your own baby food, it’s not necessary to purchase a special blender/processor just for baby food.

Have a baby on a budget & go without these unnecessary, expensive items for your newborn. Infants need very little to be happy, so on't go overboard on these products.

Inexpensive option: You can use your own blender to make baby food and place in small mason jars or Tupperware containers.

21. Doorway jumper

These jumpers are not necessary and can actually be harmful to your child’s physical development. The impact of jumping can be detrimental to their legs and feet.

Inexpensive option: You don’t need any baby gear like this. An activity center is all you need.

Hi I’m Marissa!

A mom of two little ones, here to provide some relatable experiences, tips, and tricks to the joys and challenges of pregnancy and childbirth through raising babies and toddlers.  Read more about me here.