My oldest is 8 years old now, and my youngest is 4, so I was super curious when I got an invite to a college friend’s baby shower to see what things she registered for, just to see how much things had changed.
And boy, have they changed.
Baby Butt Spatulas
I honestly had no idea what this was for. I honestly thought maybe this item was for the first-year smash cake shoot, and maybe you just layer the baby with fondant now and skip the cake altogether? IDK. When I was a FTM, I used my hands to spread diaper rash cream on my baby’s bum because well, I had just pushed a baby out of my body, naked, in front of four strangers, and now my nipples had scabs on them, so nothing was really gross to me anymore. But I have to wonder how far the kitchen-utensils-as-high-dollar-baby-gear trend will go. Cradle tongs? Mellon-ballers for cleaning poopy diapers? Basters for your herbal baby bath? Someone is going to make a lot of money on this, that’s a given.
The Baby Keurig
I just don’t get the high-end baby formula maker. You can already buy pre-measured formula tubes that look like Crystal Light packets. Formula mixes up really easy these days, too; I remember my mom saying she had to use the blender to make my bottles because baby formula was grainy and lumpy back then. And, you had to heat the water, and then let it cool, etc. I just don’t understand why this is a thing now, except, see my speculations about kitchen gadgets repurposed as baby gear above. There has been environmental backlash over the Keurig, so maybe they are being repurposed for tired moms?
I probably would have bought one of these as a new mom since I was so terrified to hold a wet baby that I waited a month to give my newborn a bath. (She survived.) But every time I see this, I picture that last scene in the Titanic with Jack floating next to Rose.
Baby High Heels
Honestly, any baby shoes are a waste before they can walk. They just don’t need them, but you don’t really think about that as an FTM. We could barely get socks to stay on our babies’ tube-shaped feet, much to the chagrin of every old lady to encounter us, ever. (Oh, where are your socks? Those feet must be cold!) Baby high-heels are just a more ridiculous iteration of baby shoes, and they aren’t even cute. They are just kind of gross.
The Wipe Warmer
I feel like this product is just a long-running, mean joke companies play on FTMs. Because although a wipe warmer may cut down on some crying during diaper changes at home, what they don’t tell you is that the first time you have to change a diaper on the road and are forced to use terrible, awful, cruel room-temperature wipe (Don’t worry, we won’t turn you into CPS) your baby will hit the ceiling.
OF COURSE I was that mom who registered for everything I could possibly need. After all, I took a carefully selected baby toy to the hospital in my labor bag when I had my first. (We still laugh about that.) Would I have believed anyone if they told me that all I would really needed at first was a set of working boobs and diapers?
But if you are scared because you can’t afford all this crap that people tell you baby needs, or you are overwhelmed with the decision-making process over what to get or register for, you can chill out. There’s no deadline. You’ll be able to get to the store and get things anytime, and you’ll probably save a lot of money.
So what is worth your hard-earned money? Here is what I would say, after three kids, is worth it.
- Rock n play – Sure, they can only use this for the first few months, but from what I have seen, it’s a lifesaver! I am pretty sure this would have gotten me a few extra hours of sleep. Sadly, they came out after I had my last baby. But I have seen the magic they work on my niece and nephew!
- Baby carrier – I would even go so far as to say don’t buy a stroller if you only have one kid. The baby carrier is amazing because baby is where they want to be, so they are quiet and happy in addition to being highly portable. You can only get the same result with a stroller if your baby isn’t needy, and all of mine were.
- Wet bag – You need one even if you don’t cloth diaper. It’s perfect for any kind of diaper blowout where you have to change their clothes, useful when they get to potty training age, and indispensible in the summer time for wet swimsuits! Wetbags are washable and reusable, but keep wet items from stinking up or getting anything else wet. Just think of it like a never-ending supply of Target sacks.
- Onesies forever – Seriously, don’t buy any fancy baby outfits. Just one, at the absolute most. Onesies are ALL you will want to put them in, and all they will likely be happy wearing.
All the rest? It can wait. Your baby doesn’t need play mats, toys, blankets, tiny washcloths, special towels, etc etc etc. These things can either be bought later or not at all. Be prepared for people to freak out if you’re not buying every item in Baby’s R US. But, unless they are buying it for you it’s none of their business anyway.
Erin Burt is a freelance writer and mother of three girls. She lives and writes in Oklahoma City.