1. Diapering systems:if it’s plastic, takes special bags and only holds a couple of diapers, it’s not a good diaper disposal system. Here’s a pro tip: go for a classic metal dome-top trash can with a spring-close door. Because metal doesn’t absorb odors you can disinfect it and/or replace the plastic liner and re-use the trash can elsewhere after your child is potty trained.
2. Baby slings: their poor weight distribution can lead to pulled neck and shoulder muscles for parents, and the CPSC has issued a warning about their dangers following 14 reports of baby deaths. Instead use a soft carrier that keeps baby’s face visible and lets a parent’s hips and back also supports baby’s weight.
3. Crib bedding sets. In case you’re one of the two parents who hasn’t heard, crib bumpers, quilts and pillows should all be kept out of infant’s crib because they increase the risk of baby death from SIDS (for more on that see this article on Safe Sleep). All you need for baby’s bed is a couple of fitted crib sheets and possibly a mattress protector depending on your mattress type (for more on mattresses see this article),
4. Changing table. A lot of parents find that a changing table is handy for an infant, but that as the baby gets heavier and squirmier a towel on the floor or a bed works better. An alternative is to install a changing pad and basket of supplies on the top of a low, wide dresser that you can still use after baby’s diaper days have passed.
5. Wipe warmers. This comment says it: “all they do is roast the wipes.” If your baby prefers a warm wipe, just hold the wipe between your hands for a second.
6. Pacifiers. Some babies are obsessed with them, but others have no interest. Other babies will only accept one type. Better to hold off buying any kind of pacifier until after your baby is born. Your hospital may also supply you with a few.
7. Baby shoes. Until baby does to daycare or starts walking outside, baby shoes are just decoration.
8. Mittens. Babies hate wearing them and are expert at getting them off and throwing them overboard. If you’re worried about fingernail scratches, trim your baby’s nails regularly with some snub-nosed scissors. If it’s really cold and your baby likes to kick off car seat blankets, try a bunting with built-in mittens or fold-over sleeves.
9. The wrong nursing pillow. Read online reviews and you’ll find that certain nursing pillows are adored by certain moms and hated by others. Some work better for bigger babies and moms but not smaller ones, some have straps and belts that some parents find simple to use but others find annoying. Breastfeeding pillows can be expensive and they take up a lot of space, so before you register/use/buy a nursing pillow, try it on and return or exchange it ASAP if it doesn’t work for you.
10. Bath thermometer. Put your hand in the water, does it feel hot instead of warm? If so, add more cold water.
11. Plush and/or noisy toys. Babies generally couldn’t care less about stuffed animals, and they’re unsafe for a newborn’s sleeping area anyway. Plus they take up a lot of space, which is why pretty much every kid you know has a closet with a pile of creatures in it. You’ll get plenty as gifts, so as heart-meltingly adorable as a plush toy might be, try to restrain yourself. When it comes to noise, mini-pianos, xylophones, wooden spoons and pots and pans are all fine, but a toy that plays the same electronic music over and over again will make you feel like you’re living in a horror movie. Especially avoid talking plush toys that can activate themselves.
12. Baby lotion. Babies don’t need any, and some brands even contain potentially toxic ingredients such as phthalates and parabens.