Baby Registry Regret: What Baby Gifts, Toys, and More Did You Regret Putting On Your Registry?

baby registry regretHere’s a fun thing I’ve been meaning to talk about for a while: baby registry regret! What did you consider to be the registry FLOPS — what items did you really regret putting on your registry (or otherwise buying for your baby)? I’ll acknowledge at the beginning that this can really be particular by child — I know that there wasn’t always overlap between what my sons liked when they were babies. Still, some of the things that would be on my list of my biggest baby registry regrets:

  • the 3-in-1 Exersaucer: Here’s my thing with this one: we loved step 2 of the Exersaucer. But step 1 and step 3 just took up a ton of floor space and didn’t seem to get a lot of use with either boy. Fortunately I now see that you can get a $30 Exersaucer that is basically ONLY step 2.
  • a mobile for the baby’s bedroom: I got one that was black and white with interchangeable cards (this one, I think) — but it turned out to be a PITA to change the cards, I kept knocking into the mobile trying to put the baby down, and so forth. With baby #2 I wound up getting “use” out of the cards by just taping them to the wall near the baby with painter’s tape — we had some near the crib (behind the slats where the kiddo couldn’t get them), some near his little Fisher Price swing, some near tummy time, etc. (And I now see that they have a smaller, clip-on mobile that might have been better for us because we could have moved it around…)
  • Most baby clothes. I had crazy spreadsheets when I was registering for things — OK we need 6 onesies for newborn size, 6 onesies for “3 month” size, 6 onesies for “6 month” size, etc.  Then I need 6 pants for newborn size, 6 pants for 3 month size… and on and on. Here’s what I truly used: 10 swaddle wraps and a ton of diapers, at least until the kiddo started rolling over, and then you could keep them in stretchies (footed sleepers) pretty much 24/7.  Now, there’s an important caveat here: one of the best daycare tips moms here have shared is that they often felt like their kiddo got better treatment if they were “dressed cute” for daycare. (Little person, expression of personality, etc.) SO — make note of that if you plan on sending your kiddo to daycare at any point during their infancy. But if you’ve got an extended maternity leave, or have childcare that involves a stay at home partner, a grandparent, or a nanny, you probably don’t need too many baby clothes until you hit the one year mark.
  • Fancy diaper bag. This one wasn’t on my registry because I bought it pretty much as soon as the stick turned pink, but I regretted the $350 diaper bag I bought before I knew how I’d be using in my bag (and how I’d be stocking in my diaper bag).

Ladies, do you have any baby registry regret? What do you regret putting on your registry or buying for your kiddo? Which were the biggest flops?

Psst: see the rest of our registry advice for working moms!

Pictured: Shutterstock / Photographee.eubaby registry regrets for working moms

Baby registry regret is a real thing! Working moms share what they wish they'd never registered for -- or otherwise regretted purchasing!

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Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    Bumbo. Both kids hated it. Plus, this would’ve been so easy to borrow or buy cheap from a BST site.

    • Anonymous says:

      +1. My LOs did not fit in it. They were too skinny and it wouldn’t support them. By the time their little thighs were big enough, they could sit on their own.

      • Anonanonanon says:

        HAHAHA I had the opposite problem my (now super skinny- funny how they change!) baby was so chunky his little legs got stuck and when i picked him up out of it the bumbo came with him, and I’d have to use my foot to yank it off!

      • just Karen says:

        +1 my little chubster’s legs were very hard to get out of it. I never thought about kids being too thin for them!

    • Same. Plus, my son’s thighs were too chubby to fit comfortably.

    • YASSS the Bumbo neither of my kids fit in it.

    • Anonymous says:

      We returned our bumbo before our baby arrived as I was reading about how it can affect babies hips/spines.

    • We liked the Bumbo–we put our kid in it while feeding her early solids, and then didn’t need to bother with a supportive highchair, and went straight to the Stokke TripTrap. But I do completely agree that these are easy to borrow/get as hand me downs/find consignment.

  2. Things not to ask for: blankets (I got SO many gifts of blankets, some homemade (so nice), without requesting any); Bumbo seat (almost never used); Sophie Giraffe (OMG the mold in there!); bottles (took a long time after birth to see what worked); stuffed animals (same as blankets— they will come anyway!);

    Things I should have asked for / asked for more of: Rock n Play or similar, ZIPPER footie pjs, sleep sacks, towels/washcloths, crib sheets, burp cloths/ plain diapers, maybe a cute nightlight?

    Also if I had it to do over, I would not register somewhere that doesn’t offer free shipping (ahem, BBB).

    • AwayEmily says:

      Why do they even make snap footie PJs? Nightmare. I gave all of our away immediately and kept only the zip ones.

      • BTanon says:

        I think I’m in the minority here, but I found that for my newborn I actually preferred the snap versions! I was changing diapers all the time, and felt like there was less undressing needed each time with the snap footies as compared to the zippers.

        • I’m with you! Especially in the winter, the snaps meant the top of the romper could stay closed while we just opened up the bottom, unlike a zipper that starts from the top.

        • Tunnel says:

          I too preferred the snaps!

    • +1 on the free shipping. A family member registered on BBB for her second baby, and we don’t have one in the area. I had to spend $50 to get free shipping. Since $50 was over my second baby/sprinkle budget, and I didn’t want to spend $10 on shipping for a $30 gift, I went to a local store and bought something off registry. I’m sure she would have received more registry gifts if she had registered at Babies R Us, which is in our area, or Amazon, which has free shipping. Plus, she can’t even make returns to BBB.

  3. I think a lot of this is baby specific so my general recommendation is to borrow as much of this stuff as you can if you can. My daughter didn’t ever want to be in the swing for more than ten minutes & I was so glad that I borrowed it from a friend. Same with the exersaucer. It came in handy if you had to contain the baby for 5 minutes but it really didn’t occupy her beyond that.

    And I agree on the clothes. It’s fun to buy them but you will get so many as gifts that it’s not worth it. Not to mention that if you’re actually short on onesies, amazon will get you a bunch very quickly. I also wouldn’t buy multiples of anything highly recommended like the “miracle blanket” until you see whether you use it. We ended up preferring plain old swaddle clothes and I was happy I didn’t have more than one of those.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I’m so glad I’m from a culture that doesn’t normally do baby registries. Even registering for our wedding made me slightly uncomfortable and a baby is so much more personal. I can’t imagine registering for intimate things like n*pple cream, and things like nursery furniture feel way too expensive to put on a registry, since people typically spend significantly less on babies than weddings. I expect to get a lot of clothes and books secondhand from sister and BFF who have had babies fairly recently, so I honestly have no idea what I’d register for.
    (Totally not judging those who register! I love to view my friends’ registries. It would just make me super uncomfortable to have to register for myself.)

  5. Anonymous says:

    Mobile and clothes. Mobile because I was told to take it down immediately by our sleep specialist (and apparently it’s a safety hazard) and clothes because we received so many anyway, I didn’t need to register for them. I wish I would have registered for more diapers and wipes :)

    • Anonymous says:

      And I forgot to add – pacifiers. Found out quickly that our son didn’t like the Wubba Nubs (or whatever the pacifiers are that are attached to the little animals) so those were a total waste. Wait until baby is born to see if he/she will even like pacifiers, and then test some out before investing in a bunch.

      • I registered for several different pacifiers to see which one LO took to. I was glad I had variety and could then buy more of the ones he liked.

  6. Mrs. Jones says:

    We didn’t use mobile, bumbo, or pacifiers. We also had way too many clothes and blankets. I bought a lot of things at resale stores since I didn’t know what we would really need or want.

  7. just Karen says:

    Baby carriers. I had four different ones, and my daughter hated them all.

    • AuntE says:

      Mine, too! I spent $175 on an Ergo carrier because I couldn’t wait for a kind friend to purchase from the registry, and she hated it and even with long arms, I could never put it on by myself. Wish I had borrowed one to try it out before purchasing.

    • Katarina says:

      This certainly vary. DH, both kids, and I all love the Ergo and we hardly used the stroller.

      • Seconded. As Eloise said, the Ergo was “my mostly companion.” I used our car-seat/Snap N Go combo maybe twice? Three or four times with help? And our actual stroller maybe once a month when my husband wasn’t around. Stupid walk-up NYC apartments.

    • October says:

      I feel like a baby carrier is something you may use more with a second baby. I barely used them with my first, but now that I’m having #2 I’m very glad I have them around.

  8. Anonanonanon says:

    I had my last before the era of Amazon Prime, so having a bunch of stuff beforehand was more essential. Now that we live in an “amazon now” zip code and can easily get stuff the same or next day, it all feels so much less urgent.
    -I agree with the clothes assessment- in my experience, everyone ignores the clothes you register for and just buys they outfits they want to buy! (a pet peeve of mine- people make registries for a reason!)
    -I had one of those baby bathtubs on my registry last time around. I just ended up using the sink and then straight to a bath seat in the tub (with direct supervision, of course!)
    -Mobile. Definitely didn’t use it
    -changing table- I hear this is a MUST for tall folks, but my ex husband and I are both very short and never once changed the baby on the changing table!
    -Things they won’t use for many months. At the time, it felt like it was going to save money/time in the long run, but it was stressful to have stuff we didn’t need just taking up space for 3-6-12 months before we used it. Same with bigger clothes, my taste changed once the hormones were out of my system/I actually saw my child.
    -controversial, but bottles. like some people noted with pacifiers, the bottles my baby ended up preferring were NOT the ones I registered for, which was a shame.

  9. Anonanonanon says:

    These responses are inspiring me to offer to do a “gift cards only!” or “diapers only!” baby shower the next time I throw one for someone! Maybe that’s tacky, but it’s a heck of a lot more useful for the recipient!

  10. I had that mobile – we put it on our changing table and we spent many many quality hours watching baby looking at it with great interest. Agree, however, that changing out the cards is terrible and should be redesigned.

  11. I had a minimalist registry I think; it didn’t include any clothes at all or anything that wouldn’t get used until my son was over 6 months or so. I got SO MUCH STUFF free as hand-me-downs or from local parent listservs, so I didn’t really care if a random free thing didn’t get used. I also was so ruthlessly practical (on a very tight budget) that I really appreciated the less practical keepsake things I got as gifts, like an engraved picture frame. I more regretted things I didn’t get that I later had to locate, which were hard to predict. E.g., burp cloths – I thought it was dumb to buy burp clothes and planned to just use dish towels or hand towels. Then I had a baby with reflux and we did not have enough towels to contain him. I didn’t register for a swing, and frankly would not have anyway since they are so easy to get free/cheap used, and then got a used one after my son was born in a panic. (This was not that hard though – I posted on our listserv and had 3 offers ranging in price from $0-50 in less than a day. I picked the free one and was happy enough with it). I do wish I had registered for a carrier since they are expensive and I couldn’t find the one I wanted used, but again, I thought I had the carriers I needed – I didn’t know until I had a baby that I didn’t like them.

    I think a frozen meals + diapers + gift card shower could be awesome for someone cheap and practical like me.

    • anonanonanon says:

      Babylist lets you add items like “homecooked meal” etc. to your registry, but I don’t have a good feel for how that would be received.
      honestly I’d want to add my favourite maid service and tell people gift cards to that would be wonderful.

  12. KeenPeach says:

    Baby bottle warmer. Completely unnecessary when you can just run it under hot water. I blame hormones.

    • anonanonanon says:

      I forgot about that! I registered for one of those and NEVER used it. My son was fine with cold bottles!

    • Anonymous says:

      We used ours all the time. So I guess it depends?

    • Anonymous says:

      Also use ours all the time! But my mom bought it for me in my post-birth haze when I couldn’t object to her buying one.more.thing. She also bought us a sterlizer which I could do without, but whatever.

    • Tunnel says:

      We used our Dr. Brown’s bottle warmer regularly for 2 years, so it depends

  13. Anonymous says:

    I actually think we did a really good job registering. My husband thought the baby had too many “beds” (rock n play, bouncy seat, pack n play), but shes 3 months and we’ve used them all!

  14. 8 ounce bottles. I didn’t realize they were only for formula and that breast-fed babies will never eat more than 4-5 ounces at a time. Since I exclusively breastfeed, those big bottles never got used. (We had a mix of a couple of different kinds of bottles — Dr. Brown, Avent, Lifefactory, and Comotomo — but after a bottle strike at 4 months, he now uses a single Joovy Boob bottle all day, every day while I’m at work.)

    I also regretted my Skip Hop wetbag. It was really cute, but I threw it away after a month because the lining got holes in it after being washed. PlanetWise wet bags have been much more durable.

    No other regrets, though! Looking through my registry (my baby is 8 months old now), I see lots of stuff that we used constantly and still use today. Glad I registered for a ring sling as it really opened up the world of babywearing for me when LO was just a few days old.

    • Anonymous says:

      And I never used the 4 ounce bottles after about 2 months – both of my breast-fed babies ate 8 – 10 ounces at a time!!!

    • Baby Noob says:

      Yes, the bottle thing! We registered for a “gift set” of life factory glass bottles but 1) day care doesn’t allow glass (duh) and 2) baby is EBF so only eats 3-4 oz at a time and 3) we ended up using the Kiinde system precisely so we don’t have to wash bottles!

      Also – our shower had a diaper raffle everyone brought random sizes of diapers and 3 people randomly got door prizes (read: wine!) Our daughter is approaching 5 months and we haven’t had to purchase diapers. Target/BBB will allow exchanges for size/brand too!

    • Oh my breastfed baby would eat 8-10 ounces All Day Long.

  15. Knope says:

    Bath stuff, just because we got so many unsolicited baskets of baby shampoo, lotion, etc. from random people as gifts! Also swaddle blankets – my little guy busted out of anything that didn’t involve velcro. A couple of the blankets were nice to have around, but most of them went unused.

    Call me crazy, but I actually wish we would have gotten more toys. We got TONS of stuffed animals, but not a lot of baby-friendly toys that he can pick up, grip, put in his mouth, etc. We are buying ones now at 4 mos that double as teethers.

  16. avocado says:

    Can’t get this reply to thread properly. I pumped and bottle fed for the first several weeks and when I finally got a bottle warmer it was a game-changer. Our evil pediatrician had us convinced that we would make baby sick by giving her cold bottles. It took so long to warm them up under the faucet, and being a So Cal native I couldn’t stand wasting all that water.

  17. avocado says:

    And yes to lots of baby containers! I loved having a second bouncy seat in the bathroom.

    We only registered for newborn stuff and I am glad we did it that way. I was able to make much more informed choices about the exersaucer, high chair, etc. once I actually had a baby who was developmentally ready for the equipment. Example: I would have registered for a lovely wooden high chair. I actually bought an ugly, easy-to-clean one with a dishwasher-safe tray.

  18. Legal Cancuk says:

    Diapers, it will take time to see what fits your kid.
    My oldest was pamper’s baby (we tried cheap brands and she peed through every time)
    My youngest, Huggies (they fit her better)

  19. Sunnyside says:

    Against advice of a 4 time mom, I put a ton of stuff on my registry that I didn’t really need. She advised me, every baby is different, so wait until the baby is here, and sure enough… yuppers. I think the comments above confirm that. There are a lot of things some babies use and others don’t. E.g. mine couldn’t drink a bottle unless it was warm, and guzzled 8oz frequently.

    Things my baby didn’t need (but yours might):
    – a fancy Rockaroo. He loved the $20 jiggler way more
    – any type of carrier. He refused to do the baby wearing thing. I bought two carriers. One he was ok with, the other he hated
    – a lot of under 3 mo clothes… he mostly lived in a diaper and swaddle
    – blankets. They tell you not to put these in the crib anyways. When they’re toddlers they’re more into blankets
    – a fancy stroller. Now I don’t feel bad if the one I got gets dinged.

  20. The only really dumb thing that springs to mind was a container for wipes that attaches to your stroller. Jesus, self. Put them in a ziplock and shove them in the top of the diaper bag/backpack. If you need a wipe, you probably need something else in the diaper bag. If you don’t need something else in the diaper bag, you can probably use your hand.

  21. Sunnyside says:

    LOL

  22. April says:

    I registered for a cover that you put in the shopping cart so that your baby doesn’t have to touch the cart when he/she sits in the front part. So stupid and it is HUGE, and if I can recall, expensive!! I literally can’t imagine having to schlep that thing with me every time I want to go to the grocery store among every other thing you need to remember to bring with you for the baby when leaving the house. It’s just sitting and collecting dust.

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