5 Big Ticket Baby Registry Items You Don’t Need

Wumblekin Pregnancy Boxes | 5 Big Ticket Baby Registry Items You Don't Need

Kids, and more specifically, babies, are expensive. The potential costs during baby’s first year range from $21K on the low end to $51K on the high end according to one analysis by NerdWallet.

On top of that, it can be overwhelming when putting together a baby registry. You may feel pressure to have ALL the gear and be super prepared. But having all the gear before baby even arrives adds up, and keep in mind, you haven’t had a chance to meet your little one yet. Every baby is different, so you won’t know what they like or don’t like until they arrive. Attempting to anticipate their every need before they’re born can create a lot of added expenses for things you may not even reach for or that your baby really doesn’t like.

A different strategy? Wait and see. Or borrow. Or both.

Additionally, baby gear is always changing. With new items on the market all the time, it’s important to understand how safe they are, if there are any safety recalls on them and if they’ve been tested by appropriate accredited organizations. Finally, be sure to read the instructions so that you’re using the products in the way they are intended to be used.

If you’re creating your baby registry, check out our tips and checklist, here. The following big-ticket items are ones you might want to hold off on adding to your registry:

1. The SNOO Smart Sleeper Bassinet

The SNOO was developed by Dr. Harvey Karp, author of The Happiest Baby on the Block. The bassinet boasts “smart” features like responsive movement to calm baby, soothing sounds, and sleep tracking through a connected app.

Pros:

  • Responsive to baby’s sleeping and waking patterns
  • Can track baby’s sleep with the app
  • Built in swaddling to keep baby safely in place
Cons:
  • The cost. If you purchase it outright it’s $1400.
  • It doesn’t work for every baby.
  • Some users have reported baby’s developing flat spots on the back of their head.
SNOO Smart Sleeper Baby Bassinet | Wumblekin Pregnancy Box Essentials
Bottom Line: Don’t lose sight of expectations. The SNOO may give you some sleep back, but you still have a new baby on your hands. You’ll be tired no matter what since nighttime feedings are inevitable. Additionally, a bassinet isn’t used for very long so the cost may not be worth the short time for which it’s used.

HAVE to have? SNOO offers a rental program for $129/month.

2. The Owlet Smart Sock

The Owlet Smart Sock is a home cardiorespiratory monitor which is used to measure baby’s oxygen level and heart rate while they sleep. It’s a small device that is placed on baby’s foot which connects to an app on your phone.

Pros:

  • As a new parent, it can provide some peace of mind during those early days.
Cons:
  • A device like this can sometimes create more anxiety due to false alarms or user error
  • It comes with a price tag of $299+
  • It is not recommended for home use by The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)
Owlet Smart Sock 3 Baby Monitor with Oxygen and Heart Rate | Wumblekin Pregnancy Box Essentials
Bottom Line: The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) actually recommends that you DON’T use a cardiorespiratory monitor unless it is prescribed for a specific purpose by your baby’s physician. The use of devices like the Owlet have not been shown to reduce the incidence of SIDS. Of course, these recommendations are for healthy, full term infants. If your baby doesn’t fall in that category, work with your baby’s doctor to determine what’s right for your situation.


3. DockATot Baby Lounger

This upscale baby lounger boasts a range of colors and patterns and comes in different sizes. It is intended to be used as a place to put baby when they are awake and alert, similar to an infant seat.

Pros:
  • Provides a place for baby to hang out if you need to be hands free.
Cons:
  • Pricing starts at $175+
  • Baby is not supposed to sleep in a DockATot because it’s a suffocation hazard. Infants sleep most of the time and so they should not be placed in one while asleep.
  • User error (never use as an infant sleep positioner or leave baby unattended in a baby lounger.)
DockATot+ Baby Lounger | Wumblekin Pregnancy Essentials Box
Bottom Line: The FDA and the AAP both advise against the use of a DockATot during sleep or as a baby sleep positioner. Instead, using a nursing pillow like a Boppy can serve a similar lounger purpose with additional uses like support in breastfeeding, tummy time, cuddling, learning to sit, or even a neck pillow for a tired parent (that last one is a Wumblekin insider tip!).

4. Hatch Grow Smart Changing Pad & Scale

TThis smart changing pad and scale connects to your smartphone so you can track your baby’s weight.

Pros:
  • Tracks baby’s weight with the connected app
  • Easy to clean foam surface
  • BPA Free
Cons:
  • The smart changing pad & scale costs $150 vs a simple diaper changing pad that starts at $20+.
  • You have to open an app on your phone to see what your baby weighs which is a distraction from keeping your wiggly baby safe on the changing surface.
  • Product quality is not consistent. There have been a fair amount of reviews of the device that say it breaks easily, doesn’t connect to the app, or the app only displays an error message.
Hatch Grow Smart Changing Pad & Scale | Wumblekin Pregnancy Must-Haves Box
Bottom Line: For a healthy infant that was born without any complications and that isn’t experiencing any challenges with feeding or gaining weight, we recommend you skip this one. Your baby will be weighed at every well-baby doctor’s appointment and if your hospital provides a new parent drop-in group, you may be able to weigh your baby there.

5. Baby Swings

Baby swings come in all shapes, prices and technology levels, from the very simple 3 speed swing to one with more bells and whistles like a MamaRoo. They’re intended to help soothe baby when baby is fully awake. They are not meant to be used as a place for baby to sleep for any length of time.

Pros:
  • Can help soothe baby.
Cons:
  • The more bells and whistles, the higher the price tag.
  • Swings take up a lot of space.
  • Not all babies like swings.
  • Make sure you check how big a baby needs to be to use the swing you want. The weight requirement, on average, is 11 pounds or more, so they often aren’t suitable for newborns.
  • They aren’t needed for very long.
Graco DuetSoothe Baby Swing and Rocker | Wumblekin Pregnancy Education and Essentials
Bottom Line: Swings are another item we recommend you try before you buy. If you’re able to get your hands on one from a friend, that can help you determine if your little one likes it enough to buy your own.

Still Curious?

If you're still curious about these items and think they might be useful, we recommend waiting until your little one arrives to get to know them and their temperament first. If you’re able to borrow from a friend to try them out, even better.

And of course, if these or other higher priced items are things you feel you simply can’t live without, as long as they’re used safely, by all means, splurge!

 

Sources:


Safe Sleep Explained: https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/baby/sleep/Pages/A-Parents-Guide-to-Safe-Sleep.aspx

American Academy of Pediatrics: https://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/138/5/e20162938

FDA: https://www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/do-not-use-infant-sleep-positioners-due-risk-suffocation

Cardiorespiratory Monitor Study of Owlet By Global Pediatric Health: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5718309/

The Owlet Smart Sock – a “must have” for the baby registry? https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7849797/

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