A baby registry is a funny thing. You’re basically telling the world “Hey, even though it’s not our birthday or Christmas, we are getting ready to have a baby so you should probably buy us stuff.” And we all go along with it, because we’re genuinely happy for you and can’t wait to get you something for your new bundle of joy to throw up and/or poop on.
But not all baby registry items are created equal – there are a few mission-critical essentials, but there are just as many items that seem to exist to keep the garage sale industry going. These are items you think you’ll need, but then they just wind up cluttering the changing table when you realize they are nowhere near as useful as you thought they might be. We speak from a position of fatherhood-tested experience when we present this list of what to ask for and what to avoid.
NEED: Clothes. Somehow, the average newborn weighs around six or seven pounds but can expel nearly four times that weight in poop and spitup in the average day. You can plan all you want to have just one outfit for the day, but we’re here to tell you it just ain’t gonna happen. Get all the onesies, jammies booties and undershirts your registry can hold.
SKIP: Bottle Warmer. It’s basically a thing you fill with water, stick a bottle in there and it warms it up. This seems to make sense, since you’re not supposed to put the bottle in the microwave, but you know what else you can use to soak the bottle in hot water? Your kitchen sink. Even if you wind up with one of these, you’re going to find yourself running the bottle under a hot tap because it’s quicker.
NEED: The World’s Toughest Tactical Baby Gear. We may be biased, but the way we see it you’re going to need a diaper bag. Why not get the best there is, the TBG Deuce 2.0 Diaper Bag with its field-tested rugged durability and endless pockets and pouches? Get the full combo set and you’ll be ready for anything your call of daddy will throw your way. If you’re planning your baby registry, it needs to be at the top of your list.
NEED: Bottles (and oh man, just so many accessories). Even if your SO plans on breastfeeding, you’re going to want to have some bottles around so you can be the caring, nurturing father that handles a midnight feeding every once in a while. For breastfeeding moms, a pump and specialized Zip-Loc baggies help you freeze milk to give baby a steady diet during the ebb and flow of production. Either way, you’ll want to get the full load-out of bottle brushes and drying racks to keep them clean. You DO NOT want to be cleaning a bottle while a hangry baby screams at you.
SKIP: Anything for “testing” baby’s bathwater. Here we’re talking about things like this stupid duck that floats on the water and tells you whether it’s too hot. And there are a lot of them. Sure, you’ll want to put some smaller items on your registry for your friends who aren’t looking to spend too much on you, but come on. When you reach in to grab the duck from the water, your hand is already going to tell you how hot the water is. Just keep it a little cooler than you’d comfortably bathe in and you’ll be fine.
NEED: Stroller, and we mean the nice one. You only get one shot at this. Make it count. Your stroller is going to be your carry-all, your mobile crib and the one thing that you never leave the house without. It’s your baby registry, so go nuts with it. We’re not saying you have to go for the hand-crafted $2,700 Cross Silver Balmoral, but this could be your only chance to get a stroller that doubles as a skateboard.
NEED: Seating. When choosing your high chairs and car seats, try to keep an eye on the future. Look for a high chair where the food try can be removed and the height adjusted so the baby can eat at the table with the rest of you when they’re ready. Same thing with car seats – if you get the full stroller/carrier/car seat system it will make your life much easier to be able to move from one step to the next with ease.
SKIP: Diaper Genie. Yeah, we went there. There are a ton of parents who swear by theirs, and we get it. It does a great job of keeping diaper smells at bay, and believe us, that diaper pail can get RANK. The thing about Diaper Genie is that it uses specialized, incredibly expensive, bags that will only work with their product. Because of this, we suggest going with something like the Diaper Dekor that uses standard 13-gallon kitchen trash bags. You’ll thank us later when you’re not having to hunt down special trash bags with an open sewer next to your changing table.