I have 3 kids. It hasn't happened often, but a few times a friend who became a new father would ask me for any hints or tips. My best advice is always "Don't listen to anyone else's advice" as instinct will kick in. Or, when in doubt, ask your mom because you're alive today so she apparently did something right. They'd also ask about baby products, if they should get this or that. I've wasted a lot of money of stuff for my babies that we ended up never using - or found something that works better for free. Here are a few I'd advice against buying. I'm no professional scholar and there may be items you used and loved on this list, but here's my list.

  • Bottle Heater

    It's an item designed to safely steam the milk inside the bottle to warm it up without scorching it. All bottles say "Do Not Microwave" and other methods involve putting a bottle upright in a pan of water. I actually used this a lot to heat up the pumped breast milk we had. It was after a couple of months of waiting too long for the baby warmer to be pre-heated, then for the bottle to warm properly one restless night I put a tall cup of water in the microwave for a minute, then removed it from the microwave and put the bottle in that hot water for a little while and it worked perfectly and in about 1/4th the time. I'd say avoid the bottle warmer. I think I paid $20 for mine.

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  • Baby Wipe Warmer

    Seriously? Babies don't care of it's cool or warm. Don't waste your money.

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  • Baby Food Maker

    What a great idea! Make your own baby food. This is an item to put on your baby registry, but I'd never pay for one myself. One of the food my kids loved to eat was avocado, but isn't available in baby food form I'm sure due to it's drastically short shelf life. Got a potato masher? That worked just fine for us. Or use your husband's Margaritaville machine he spent too much money on - I'm sure that works great, too.

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  • Name Brand Shoes

    Now I'm not talking about Carter's or anything else that capitalizes the baby industry. I'm talking about Eddie Bauer, Nike or anything of that nature. I couldn't imagine paying more for shoes for my kid that I spend on myself. Especially for shoes that will fit for a few months when they can't even walk. 2 of my 3 kids couldn't even fit into most shoes until they were about ready to walk. If they're not walking, why bother. Unless you're at a fancy event like a wedding and they're wearing a little baby tux or dress, then that's cute.

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  • Baby Floor Play Gyms

    For some reason, I insisted that all three of my kids would actually interact with these like babies do in the commercials and that they would spend hours and hours learning the shapes and colors, interacting with spinning the wheels and playing the sounds and watching the lights. What usually happens is I lay them there in the center of the mat and they roll out of the way of the colors and chaos to stare at a ceiling fan. They look fun, they look engaging, they're not worth it. Not for babies, anyways.

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  • Crib Padding

    There are a few products to help babies stay in place when they're sleeping. With the risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) they have bumpers for cribs, additional padding and even special pillows that keep the baby's head upright. I'm no PH.D and I'm not saying they don't work, but I didn't use'em and my kids are alive today. The festive boarder you put at the base of the crib that matches the sheets or theme - yeah, I used those, but didn't need to.

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  • Changing Table

    "Then where do you change your baby?" "Everywhere!" We did have a changing table for a few years, but after a while we ended up just changing the baby on the floor or, most currently, on his dresser. If you happen to have one, great, but if I could go back in time I wouldn't've bothered paying for one.

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  • A Crib

    Okay, this one is a bit controversial, but hear me out. All three of my kids did sleep in cribs when they were babies. But they napped in pack 'n plays often and that's where they would sleep when we went on vacation. They slept just as well in a pack n' play as they did the crib. It's much easier to climb out of a pack n' play so there's that to consider. I mean, yes, I do believe you should have a crib for your baby. What I'm saying is you don't need one if you don't have to have one. Cribs can be expensive. The pack n' play I used for years was around $40 compared to my $200+ crib, not including mattress.

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