Dear Parents,

In a world where you're told that you and your baby need this, must have that, products that promise to make your life easier, buy this, buy that - AGH! Take a deep breath.

While many of the baby products that you see are necessary to support, nourish and ease your transition into parenthood, there are a handful of products that you think are a must-have. Though contrary to their believable marketing, they fall actually into the nice-to-have category. Then there are the baby products that aren’t necessary for any reason, and fall into the do not need category. So, how would you know? You wouldn't. And neither did we. But we know now, and we’re here to help

If you can relate to one of the four quotes from four different Poppylist parents, then you've come to the right place. Our reason for existence is to simplify the way expecting parents build their baby registries. We know that you've been feeling overwhelmed. We were there less than two years ago. So before you start to build out your entire baby registry list, let's review the Top 10 items that we promise you don't need. Here they are, and why:

1. Floor Seats

We know this is an unpopular opinion, but hear us out. According to Dr. KC Rickerd, PT DPT, a Pediatric Physical Therapist specializing in newborn and early childhood development, does not recommend putting babies into prolonged seating positions in what she calls ‘seating containers’ until they’re closer to 5 months. It’s important that if you put your baby into one of these containers, to watch closely as babies should not be hunched forward or slouched to the side. See the perfect example of Sarah’s five month old daughter for exactly what this should NOT look like. Amelia is 5 months here. She cannot sit independently yet and doesn’t have the neck strength to keep her head up for prolonged periods.

For more information on why Poppylist is a hard no on floor seats marketed for infants, please visit KC’s Instagram account @milestones.and.motherhood and review her Instagram Highlights titled Sit Containers. Had I known about the dangers of these seats for infants or had I known that this photo would be the only time she’d ever sit in it because her thighs got too chunky, I wouldn't have purchased it.

And lastly, our additional concern is the conflicting product descriptions. Here are two different ones for The Bumbo: Amazon product description: “The Bumbo floor seat is intended for babies between 3 to 12 months who cannot sit up unaided.” Target product description: “A parenting essential, the Bumbo Floor Seat is the perfect first seat for your little one. It's is soft and is ideal for infants.”

2. Burt's Bees Hooded Bath Towel

Sarah Says: "I'm just going to come out and say it. I've never used a towel that absorbed less water than this one. I see it on everyone's baby registry, and I'm here today to tell you - do not buy it, do not register for it. The fabric is a little scratchy, and it does not dry off your baby." If you're looking for an alternative, consider these. This towel is super absorbent and can be repurposed as a super soft blanket.

3. Bottle Warmer

We've heard from over 300 parents, and let me tell you, this is one of the most hit or miss products on the market. The reviews are hot and cold (pun intended). In my experience, the baby bottles' exterior gets extraordinarily hot but doesn't warm the milk inside. It's unanimous across the board, and we think the bottle warmers take too long to heat the milk. So, how can you warm up your bottle instead?

  • Are you formula feeding and on the go? Fill up your bottle with the right water measurement, then pour the water into a pot and heat it. Once heated, empty the water into a coffee thermos. The water will stay warm for up to 12 hours in most thermoses, making a warm formula bottle on the go a breeze.
  • Put your bottle in a pot with a low boil - set a timer, so you don't forget it's in there.
  • Keep your crockpot on 'hot' throughout the day and sit your bottles in there to warm (this is a best practice at day-care facilities).

4. Bottle Sterilizer

Sarah Says: "If you have a Keurig on your kitchen counter already, imagine adding a second one, but an even bigger one. That's the size of these. They're massive. If you have a sterilized option on your dishwasher, you can use it instead. Or, boil a pot of water and throw in all your bottle for 10 minutes. Voila!"

We know families whose children have severe allergies or digestive issues, and they feel more confident in cleaning the bottles with the right bottle sterilizer. As a reminder, Poppylist offers unbiased recommendations, but we'll always encourage moms and dads to lead with their gut. If this makes more sense for you and your needs, then we're all for it!

5. Hand Mittens

We feel the same way about socks as we do mittens; they don’t stay on. As your baby develops, they experience the most sensation inside their mouth. Leading experts recommend that babies have access to their hands/fingers, which allow them to self-soothe if they aren’t taking a pacifier. Worried about them scratching their face? Kim Says: “Buy the onesies that have the built-in mitten cuffs, like this Babybreez onesie or this Goumi Kids onesie. Your baby will be less likely to lose a pair of mittens, and you’re getting more use out of one piece of clothing. Worried about using fingernail clippers? Try a nail filler instead!”

6. Wipe Warmers

Sarah says: "My twin sister was the first to tell me a hard-no on this. You can't take the wipe warmer on the go, so you shouldn't get your baby used to them. A wipe warmer falls into the ultimate nice-to-have category and a very unnecessary product. "

7. Diaper Cream Applicator

Kim says: “No, just no.”

8. Grass Countertop Drying Rack

Here's a description from a grass drying rack: "A drying rack can make the chore of bottle washing for baby a bit more manageable." False. First of all, nothing makes washing the constant barrage of bottles fun or manageable. And there's no reason that you can't use (1) the top of your dishwasher rack to air dry the bottles (2) use the existing drying rack that you already own. Sarah says: "Do you want fake grass taking up more counter space than necessary?"

9. Diaper Wipe Dispenser

Kim Says: “This sounds enticing, we know, but it’s not necessary. It’s so easy to stick an extra wipe back in the original pack, or use the extra wipe to clean off any extra diaper cream on your hand - or, you know, on the rare occasion when you might get poop on your hand!” Pro Tip: Look for wipes with a plastic cap opening vs. an adhesive sticker for easier diaper wipe distribution.

10. Traditional Diaper Bag

We don’t recommend the traditional, female diaper bag, and here’s why. One of our values at Poppylist is finding and recommending multi-functional baby products that have longevity for your growing family, and one of those products includes diaper bags. We value recommending products that both moms and dads alike can use, and it's why we love the idea of gender-neutral diaper bags. Here are the top 4 Poppylist Picks:

  • Fjallraven Kanken Totepack: Made from durable, water-resistant material with organic cotton and recycled polyester. Complete with an inside sleeve if you need to take your computer with you on the go, and easy to access zippered front pocket and side pockets.
  • Parker Baby Backpack: A sleek, organized bag with more than 10 pockets. This backpack is the perfect take-along with or without the baby. There’s also a built-in changing pad, eliminating the need to purchase a travel changing pad.
  • Topo Designs Rover Pack: An exterior front pocket and top flap pocket give quick access to smaller items like keys, wallet, pacifier, sunscreen, chapstick, etc. The side pockets can hold your water bottle, baby’s bottle or extra diapering gear as well.
  • Lululemon Parent Backpack: From diaper bag to workout bag. Plus a separate pocket for dirty diapers or sweaty gear. The interior fabric is water resistant, making any spills easy to clean.

So, to our fellow moms and dads - what do you think?

We’d love to hear from you in the comments! What other products would you add to the ‘do not buy’ list, or is there something we listed that you loved and would recommend? We welcome all perspectives and can only grow better together with you as apart of the discussion. For more resources on building your baby registry, you can always refer back to the ‘5 questions to ask yourself when making a baby registry’ Instagram post here.