Friday, January 11, 2013

The Baby Registry

New mommas are always asking me: "What should I register for?" With so many baby items on the market - it can be overwhelming! I have put together a little list with some of my favorite items {with practicality in mind} - note I would also recommend registering for gender neutral they can be passed down to your future "heirs and heiresses" too: 

1) During your pregnancy:
  • Books"The Happiest Baby on the Block" - this book teaches you how to soothe your newborn. I would highly recommend! The 30 minute DVD is even better than the book {but I would recommend both} because you and your S.O. can watch together - which is lovely. 
  • Baby Care Class: I would recommend taking a basic baby care class/Infant CPR course. They will cover everything from swaddling, bathing, CPR, etc - and I found it to be super helpful. I also took a breast feeding class (it was free at my hospital) and I found it to be really informative as well.
  • Clothing: I would invest in a few comfortable night gowns and robes - I LIVED in mine at the end of my pregnancy and when my son arrived (robes provide easy access for breast feeding). Plus I had to have a C-section and pants hurt my incision - so dresses/robes were a must! I would also recommend you purchasing at least two nursing bras (without underwire) and two nursing tanks (Target has a wonderful selection). Go a size up on your bra - because you will be super engorged {its sorta scary}.
2) Products you will actually NEED:

  • DIAPERS: Oh my goodness - you will need lots. Many of my "crunchy" friends do cloth diapers - love it! It just was not for me. If you do disposable diapers, plan on going through 8-10/day in those first few months. I would only recommend buying one package of Newborn diapers because they will grow out of those super fast {tear}. I would register for size 1 and 2 (most retailers will let you return diapers if you received too many tiny diapers). I would highly recommend using or  when you start purchasing diapers. Both have the best pricing I have found - with free shipping! {Trust me - the less that you have to leave the house to grocery shop after your little one arrives...the better}. 
  • Wipes: make sure you register for the fragrance and alcohol free ones. Their skin is SOOO sensitive!
  • Swaddles: swaddles will save your life in the beginning. After you watch/read "The Happiest Baby on the Block" - you will understand more. I would suggest one package of swaddles. And we LOVED the Aden + Anais brand (they are larger and really stretchy and breathable). 
  • Car Seat:  make sure you know how to work it and install it before you get to the hospital. The nurses will definitely give you the "judgy" eyes if you don't have that all worked out.... A lot of hospitals and fire stations will do free safety checks. We did that - and I would highly recommend. Pick your stroller first - and then choose a car seat that adapts to your stroller. 
  • Stroller: this is totally a personal preference (jogger, city stroller, etc). We actually got ours from an upscale consignment shop for SO MUCH cheaper. Search Craigslist, consignment shops, etc. if you have your heart set on a pricey stroller (we have a Bugaboo - retails for $1000 but got used for much cheaper). If you guys are doing lots of trail-blazing and running - I have so many friends that SWEAR by the Bob strollers :) But if city life is more your thing (and you want something lightweight) we love our Ingelisina Zippy stroller {SO easy to fold - I LOVE this stroller}.
  • Baby Carriers/Slings: babies LOVE to be close to their parents and baby carriers are KEY. We STILL use ours all the time - my son LOVES it. We have a Baby Bjorn and Moby Wrap - we love both. But I have heard lots of great things about the Ergo Baby too. 
  • Swing: a swing will give you the freedom to make dinner, shower, etc. Lifesaver. We loved the Fisher Price Snuggabunny swing because it PLUGS into the wall. This is key when purchasing as don't want a battery operated one.  
  • Bassinet: we had a pack-n-play with a little bassinet in it and our son seemed to be super cozy in there (plus it can be converted into a play-yard for later use): 
  • Inclined Bassinet: this thing has been a necessity for us  - my son LOVED to sleep in it and the incline helped with congestion issues. Plus its super portable - so we can bring it anywhere. Its great to have him sit in it while I get ready in the mornings too. We loved the Rock N Play {note that you will need to stuff blankets BEHIND attached material behind child's head to avoid his/her head from "molding" or "flattening"...I noticed in some of the reviews online that there were some complaints of that. Though we didn't have this issue with our son.}.
  • Boon Drying Rackthis thing is great for drying bottles, pacifiers, etc {it doesn't hurt that it looks cool on your kitchen counter top}.
  • Microwave Sterilizerwe use this thing all the time to sterilize bottles and pacifiers and breast pump parts.
  • Pacifiers: these help to soothe our son so much. We really love these little Wubbanub pacifier stuffed animals because he can hold onto them and they don't get lost as easily:
  • Breast Pump and Hands-free bra: these are both must-haves if you are breast-feeding. I have a Medela Pump in Style pump and I love it. The hands-free bra is a MUST.
  • Breast Feeding Pillow: I had the My Brest Friend and loved it - I would recommend bringing this item to the hospital or birthing center when you deliver (the lactation consultants will be there to help - use them!).
  • Burp Cloths - LOTS!! Wash cloths work fine too!
  • Bottles: every baby is different in this category - but I would recommend trying a few and seeing what works best for your little one (esp if he/she has GERD or reflux). Make sure you start will a slow flow/level 1 nipple in the beginning. Our lactation consultant had recommended the following bottles: Playtex Drop-ins, First Years Breast Flow and Tommee Tippee. We personally use the Playtex drop-ins and love them :) Just start with one package of bottles - in case you don't like them and you can buy a different brand.
  • Bottle Brush
  • Bathing: You will need an infant tub and a few towels (the hooded ones are great) and 4-5 wash cloths. As far as soap goes, our son has such sensitive skin (and all babies do), so our pediatrician recommended Cetaphil liquid skin cleanser and its worked really well (sold in value packs at Costco). You will also want to register for a diaper rash cream (we like the Mustela brand). Our son has awful eczema - and I swear by the entire Mustela Stelatopia line of products (diaper rash cream, bath oil and lotion). You will also want some Aquaphor or Vaseline (if you like petroleum products). I will have a later post about some of my favorite natural bath products (coconut oil, calendula, etc...).
  • Hygiene: You will need baby finger nail clippers, nail files and a little brush/comb (try to find a comb that works specifically to remove cradle cap).
  • Monitor: there are so many options out there in different price ranges. Get what works best in your budget. You can find these used on Craigslist too!
  • For Snot: saline booger wipes and the Nose Frida work great {I am sort of obsessed with the Nose Frida}.
3) These products are nice but not ABSOLUTE must haves if you are on a budget:

  • Einstein Take Along Tunes: I don't know why but my son is OBSESSED with this toy and all my friends with babies say the same. 
  • Activity Mat: these are really nice and Braden loved to play on his during "tummy time"...{but they won't use them after they are 6/7 months old}. 
  • Nursing cover - I actually just used my Aden + Anais swaddles for covers...but the covers do offer a little {extra} security.
  • White noise maker: we loved this one by Cloud B. 
  • Night Lightwe love this one by Cloud B - and our son loves the twinkle lights on his ceiling. 
  • Diaper Trash Canthis keeps our house smelling clean and the bulldog out of the diapers (yes - she will eat dirty diapers...stinker).
  • Changing Table: make sure to buy some extra covers for your changing pad because you will most certainly get poop/pee on them. Like, a lot. 

People will buy you TONS of baby clothes, books, stuffed animals and blankets - don't even worry about registering for these items! I hope this helps! 

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