THE NOT-SO-ESSENTIALS: THINGS WE GOT BUT LATER REALIZED WE DIDN’T NEED
Trash Cans Made Just for Diapers
I know these are tremendously popular and frequently appear on registry “must-have” posts elsewhere, but we quickly determined ours to be unnecessary. We opted for an Ubbi – mostly for aesthetic reasons – but friends who have tried both Ubbi and Diaper Genie have since told me they prefer their Diaper Genie. Ubbi can be difficult to open when you have your hands full of poo, whereas Diaper Genie offers a foot pedal for hands-free opening. Beyond that, we realize that when our daughter is no longer wearing diapers, the Ubbi will be useless. We’ll try to sell it, but ultimately we wish we’d just purchased a high quality trashcan with a foot pedal – something that would be easy to open, trap odors, and have a lifespan beyond the 2-3 years your child is in diapers. We use a simplehuman in our kitchen and think it would’ve worked well in the nursery, too. If only we’d known.
A “Messenger” Diaper Bag
We got a really cool Timbuk2 diaper bag that seemed to be plenty big, but ultimately it was uncomfortable to carry and didn’t seem to have pockets in the right places (it was often bulging every which way and barely buckled when fully packed). We regularly wished we’d gotten a more back-friendly backpack system like this, but we'd already exceeded our bag budget and wound up just using various backpacks we already had.
A Sound Machine Just for the Nursery
A small portable one is cheaper, and you can use it on the road AND at home. Plus, you’ll likely want an air cleaner for baby’s room; those make plenty of white noise and serve a dual purpose.
We registered for baby powder because, well, who doesn't? But after seeing all of those reports about it causing cancer, we haven’t opened a single one – and our daughter has been just fine without it.
Car Seat Add-Ons
We registered for – and received – car seat head support, strap covers and an arm cushion. Luckily, we realized soon thereafter that car seat add-ons aren't recommended unless they are manufactured by the same brand as the car seat itself. Otherwise, all of those safety ratings for your car seat are rendered null and void, because they haven't been crash tested with those add-ons. So we returned the head support and strap covers but kept the arm cushion (thinking it wouldn't impact safety). We ultimately wished we'd returned the arm cushion too, as it only comes in handy if you're carrying with the nook of your arm. If you want to use your hand, it becomes nearly impossible (and at times dangerous) to grip.
Huh? Unless you live in Antarctica in a heatless hut, I don't understand why you'd need these. Keep your wipes out of the refrigerator, and you should be good to go.
Poorly Designed Baby Albums
It's so easy to design digital albums through a printer nowadays, but there's something to said for crafting that first baby book by hand. It's fun to have an envelope to store away that first lock of hair, a special sleeve for their hospital bracelet, etc. So while I recommend creating a book by hand using "real" photos, keep in mind the size of the photos you will be printing. We made the mistake of buying a super cute album with one massive design flaw: the area for photos is square but smaller than 4x4, and we have a horrible time cutting down photos to fit without compromising the image.