12 Baby Products That You Don't Really Need to Buy

All of the items that you "should" put on your registry sound great. But, what products can you leave off your registry and not miss one bit.

featured image thumbnail for post 12 Baby Products That You Don't Really Need to Buy

May 10, 2023


7 Min Read



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Creating a baby registry can be a very daunting task. As soon as you sign up, they show you dozens of different categories all claiming to be "essential" items. Along with that, everyone and their mother (see what I did there!), will be giving their advice of must have items for babies.

You could throw anything and everything onto your registry as a "Just In Case" measure to make sure you are covering all of your bases. But, that could end up with a jumbled mess and nobody will know what you are "really" looking for.

We have come up with a list of items that might sound like essentials...but might not actually benefit you as much as you think.

Wipe Warmers

Wipe warmers sound great in theory. However, your baby isn't really going to know the difference if a wipe is warm or not. Plus, you can't take a wipe warmer with you when you travel, which might cause more issues if you are on the road frequently.

Just use room temperature wipes and your baby will get used to it quick. Wiping really doesn't take that long anyway.

Related: Another non-essential, but very useful product that we have found is a weighted wipe dispenser. These aren't needed, but make it much easier to grab wipes with one hand while handling a huge mess with the other. We were gifted this OXO wipe dispenser, but you can find some cheaper ones like the Ubbi wipe dispenser, that still has great reviews. Also, make sure to use wipes that are free of any scents or other harsh chemicals to protect your baby's sensitive skin.

Changing Tables

Changing tables are a big investment and can get pretty expensive, but are very rarely needed. They can potentially save the back a little with a little less bending. But, they are stationary and require you to go to a specific room to change diapers. Which isn't always going to be possible.

A much easier solution is a changing pad. These are much more mobile and allow you to change a diaper wherever you have room, the couch, the bed, the floor, etc. This is much more practical and versatile for changing diapers wherever you might be at.

You can get a comfy and "fancier" changing pad like this Jool Changing Pad (Which is what we were gifted) or a cheaper one like this Regalo Pad (If you get one that doesn't have a washable cover, then you also might want to invest in some changing pad covers).

Or, you can go with a simple waterproof pad like this Portable Changing Pad. These are simple to cover areas for easy cleanup, and they are easy to stuff in a diaper bag for changing on the road.

Tip: Purchase a few changing pads and set up a few "diaper stations" around the house so you have access to change diapers wherever you need to (at least one on every floor of the house). We have a "main" station where we change the most diapers that has our Jool Pad, and then all others just have a simple portable pad as we don't use those as often.

Diaper Disposal Systems (Diaper Genie)

We were definitely caught up in the allure of Diaper Genies and actually got one with our first son. We used it until the first set of refills was gone and then never used it again. It sounds super beneficial, but the fact that you keep a sack of dirty diapers in your house inevitably leads to odor, and that is not something that you really want sitting around for a while.

You are better off just throwing them in your trash can which gets emptied much more regularly. And if you can put a trash can outside in your garage or somewhere similar, even better!

If the odor in the trash can still bothers you too much, you can purchase scented diaper disposal bags which mask the odor a little bit and are only a few dollars for a 200 count!

Bottle Sterilizers

Every parents wants to make sure that their baby stays healthy. Sterilizing bottles is one of the important ways to keep things sanitary while your baby is eating. It could be easy to think that a bottle sterilizer is a necessity for you newborn.

Sterilizing bottles could not be any easier though. Throw the bottles, nipples and any other parts in a pot of boiling water, boil them for a few minutes, and BINGO! You have a fresh set of sterilized bottles, and one less unnecessary item on your counter.

Formula Dispensers

A gadget as cool as the Baby Breeza sounds pretty awesome. Instant formula bottle exactly the way that you need it at the touch of a button.

Not only are they way too expensive, but they are extremely unnecessary. It's really not that hard to get a couple of scoops out of the container and put it in a bottle, and warming up bottles is overvalued as well.

The most expensive dispenser that you might need is something like this Munchkin Dispenser. Pre-measured formula, easy to pour into bottle, GREAT for travel, and only costs a couple bucks!

Tip: Fill all of your bottles with water when you have a free minute. Then, just add in the formula and shake for a quickly made bottle.

Bottle Warmers

This goes along with the formula dispenser. Bottle warmers seem to be something that many people cherish. However, there is no indication that warming up bottles has any added benefits for babies (We have had a few pediatricians tell us that).

Babies will get used to whatever temperature formula that you give them. So, don't waste the time warming up bottles. Keep your bottles at room temperature. Or, you can even make bottles (formula included) in advance and stick them in the fridge for the day. Our oldest son started taking bottles out of the fridge a few months in.

Crib Bumpers

Crib bumpers are not just an unnecessary item. They are in the unsafe item category! The American Academy of Pediatrics, as well as many other organizations, have stated that these are highly unsafe for babies and increase the risk of SIDS.

Save yourself the money, and the anxiety! Keep this one off of the registry!

Baby Bedding Sets

Bedding sets for cribs look great in all of the nursery setups that you see online and seem like a great splurge item. However, this is another one in the unsafe item category. Babies should be in their crib with a tight fitted sheet and nothing else.

Bedding is another huge SIDS risk. So, save yourself on this one as well!

Anything Newborn Size

Unless you have a premie or very small newborn, the amount of time that your child spends in newborn items is one of the shortest periods of time. So, you can save yourself money here by just going straight to items that can benefit you for more time in the future.

Skip the newborn diapers and go straight for size 1. Forgo the newborn clothes and opt for 0-3 month sizes instead.

Even something like a baby bath, you can skip the newborn styles. There are many newborn baths that have an incredible amount of features. All for a tub that might be used a dozen times (You are only supposed to give a newborn a bath 1-2 times a week).

Instead, you can pick up a tub that has a sling attachment for newborns, and the tub will be used for much longer as your little one grows.

Baby Shoes

If you've shopped for a pair of shoes ever (which I'm assuming you have), you know that shoes are ridiculously expensive. Baby shoes are actually no different. They are super expensive and, spoiler alert, your baby can't even walk in them!

The shoes might be cute, but save yourself the expense. If you have a baby in the winter, grab yourself a cheap pack of socks to cover up. Otherwise, just let those puppies breathe!

A Fancy Diaper Bag

We were gifted a pretty nice diaper bag when our second son was born, and we can't say that it hasn't been super beneficial for us. It definitely is nice with all of the pockets and sleeves for bottles and room for everything you could imaging. But, a diaper bag with all of these bells and whistles really isn't needed.

We got through the infant stage with our first son using a simple backpack that we had in the house. A backpack still has all of the pockets just like a diaper bag. If you happen to have one lying around or know someone that does, then you got yourself a free diaper bag.

Honestly, even something like a tote bag could be enough for your diaper bag. This could get a little unorganized, as everything might get mixed together. But, it could do the trick if you have nothing else at your disposal.

Special Laundry Detergent

We can't lie, we love the smell of Dreft and have definitely used our fair share of it. But, most of the time when we have used it, it's been when someone has been generous enough to give us a bottle of it.

You don't need anything fancy for your babies clothes. Just make sure that it doesn't have any scents and your are good to go. Just pick your favorite brand of detergent and user their "Free & Clear" version. It washes clothes, is safe for sensitive skin, and is bound to be much cheaper than any fancy newborn detergent you might buy.

Final Thoughts

There are many items that we have for our children that aren't "needed", but are definitively nice to have. You are going to have a bunch of these items too. And that is okay! But, if you are looking to save some money where you can, this list is a great start of unnecessary expenses you can avoid.

We would love to hear your thoughts! Leave a comment below. Let us know what we got right and what we missed. Tell us what items that you bought and ended up not needing as much as you thought!

As always, we hope that you found this helpful as you navigate through life as a Paycheck 2 Paycheck Parent!

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Written by Aaron & Mysti Keglovits a husband and wife team that have mastered the art of raising a family while living paycheck to paycheck.

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