I should probably start this post with a disclaimer: These are the items from my baby registry, and beyond, that have proven to be the most/least useful in the past 7 1/2 months that I’ve been a mom…obviously this is my opinion and based on my personal experiences – had James not been a large, sweaty, coiled-spring of a baby, certain “ousted” items may have worked just fine (including all those sweaters/leggings/booties/sleep sacks my MIL and myself took time crocheting him ahead of time…). So here goes…
Corinne’s list of “Must-haves” on the Baby Registry:
I know what you’re thinking…“Almost $30 for a 4-pack of burp-cloths?!” I received these Aden By aden + anais Muslin Swaddle Blankets as a shower gift from a friend who insisted that “all the hip moms use them.” I had already picked up a handful of used cloths from the consignment store, and didn’t think I needed to care too much about such things, but giiirrrrl, these are la bomba! They’re burp cloths, baby blankets, swaddlers, nursing capes; thin yet durable; and even if you completely mess them up, they’re still adorable (I’ve gotten compliments on how mine appear tea-stained due to the iron content of our water..). So don’t be ashamed about the price – you will barely use any other cloth – trust me.
Another pricey specialty item? I’m tellin’ ya, these Lifefactory Bpa-free Glass Baby Bottles have been amazing! First thing, obviously – they’re BPA-free. But don’t be afraid of the glass – the rubber “sleeves” are slip-proof, and when they do fall, they don’t break. And besides offering nipples with different flows (we ended up having the best luck with the #2 nipples, because it matched my flow the best), Lifefactory offers a variety of different caps that fit these bottles, turning them into sippy cups, snack holders, big-kid/grown-up water bottles, etc.
This one only applies to mommas who want to go the cloth diaper route. I was completely overwhelmed by the cloth diaper options out there, so I asked a few friends for suggestions and did a little research of my own, finally narrowing it down to gdiapers, bumGenius and Kawaii. I ended up not liking the velcro closures of gdiapers (gunk got stuck in the velcro) and honestly feel that bumGenius and Kawaii are essentially the same diaper – but Kawaii is HALF the price. I double stuff the inserts for nighttime, which works fairly well, but am looking around for a leakproof diaper to eliminate nighttime changings altogether….stay tuned!
Packs of generic baby washcloths! Because we only sparingly use wipes, a few packs of baby washcloths have been the perfect bum-cleaners, both in and out of the tub!
The Planet Wise Hanging Wet/Dry Bag has been the perfect solution for the limited space of our nursery. I also have two travel-sized ones, for the diaper bag and daycare. Not to mention, I can just throw ’em in the wash along with the diapers!
I didn’t think we would need a white-noise machine since we live in the peaceful country…but our “open floor-plan” house has very little in the way of soundproofing, so the Graco Sweet Slumber Sound Machine has been invaluable! It features a variety of white-noise sounds, a lullaby medley and the option of plugging in your own mp3 player to play baby a personalized mix-tape of slumber sounds.
This may only apply to wood stove households like ours, but having a humidifier (like the Crane Drop Shape Cool Mist Humidifier) has been a must. And as the Bun seems to have developed a cough lately due to the air-conditioner blasting at night, I have a feeling we’ll be using the humidifier more than just in the winter.
Forget those hospital-grade syringe bulbs to ridding baby’s nose of snot – they barely work, plus have been shown to harbor MOLD – get the Swedish NoseFrida (The Snotsucker Nasal Aspirator) instead! A friend of mine who’s married to a Dane turned me on to the NoseFrida and it works like a charm (and no, you don’t actually suck any snot into your mouth – there is a filter in the way!). James doesn’t always like it, but he doesn’t like me wiping boogers off his face with a soft cloth, so there you go…
Another “trendy mom must-have” from a country across the pond – Vulli Sophie the Giraffe Teether! I fully expected the Bun to have favorite dolls and toys (which he does), but a preferred teether? Yes, James almost always drops whatever else he’s holding to reach eagerly for Sophie when she’s offered/spotted. And the best part: Sophie is phthalates and BPA free and made of 100% natural rubber and food paint. She has a whole backstory as well, and other animal friends that appear in a series of picture books – super cute!
A baby carrier of your choice. In my case, I lucked out and was sold an ERGObaby carrier by a friend for CHEAP, and it’s worked out well. It was a lifesaver when we flew with James back in March, and although he’s been rebelling a bit lately, I think it’s more due to him being on the verge of a “breakthrough” with crawling, and so just doesn’t want to be contained! I think he’ll get into the ERGO again once I try it with him on my back during a hike (we do have a hiking backpack carrier that we’ve yet to try as well..). As with cloth diapers, there are seemingly endless choices, and what ends up working for you and your baby is personal and very much based on both of your needs and personalities (I also had a sling-style carrier that I used maybe once or twice before James became aware enough to decide that he HATED it…).
And now the nitty gritty (titty) committee – for those who choose to breastfeed: My shower was full of amazing, thoughtful and adorable presents. However, one friend made me a package that included some unglamorous, but very necessary items – Lansinoh HPA Lanolin and nursing pads. I thought I was going to be all green and use reusable pads, but the LAST thing I ended up enjoying rubbing directly on my sore nips was never-soft-enough fabric, so disposable it was (there are green(ish) options for disposable…)! Surprisingly, the pads I ended up liking the best were not the cushiest, but the Nuk Ultra Thin (followed by Dr. Brown’s). And unfortunately, it ain’t easy being green with breast milk storage bags…you can’t reuse them and for me personally, carting around bottles of milk isn’t practical. I have found that not all bags are created equal. While I love the Nuk pads, the bags seemed to never seal completely…my preferred brand is Lansinoh Breastmilk Storage Bags. And of course, you’ll need a breast pump! I use the Hygeia Enjoye, and have been happy with it, but have been experiencing some problems lately (have to do some troubleshooting before I point any fingers…). Again, a very personal choice!
Don’t worry about putting clothes or books on your registry (unless there’s a particular item you want) – you will get PLENTY of both, and if you don’t – that’s what yard sales are for! Believe me, there is no point in buying new books or newborn/infant clothes…although, I’ve been warned that used boy clothes in good condition are tres hard to find once they’re of the age where they’re moving around…hmmm…You will also get plenty of the other necessities from people (spoons, bowls, teethers, and toys toys toys!).
As a final note, I want to acknowledge that I don’t have much “baby gear” on here (crib, changing table, swing, tub, jumper, basinet, stroller, high chair, pack-n-play, etc). I am blessed to have a mother who I refer to as “the yard-sale queen” – and she found me MANY of these items, in great condition, at yard sales. I found a few myself and was also lucky enough to be close to a couple local moms/grandmas who essentially run the “black market” of used baby gear/clothes, and have greatly enjoyed trading/sharing with them. Ask around – there is always someone getting rid of something like this (either for free or at a big discount), and it saves you from having to put super-expensive items on the registry. That being said, don’t feel you have to take something because someone you know offers it to you. And most importantly, do your research on prices: I didn’t and paid too much for some used items that I could have gotten much cheaper from the consignment store…but what can I say, it was my own naiveté as a new mom-to-be.
So, I hope that this list may help some other soon-to-be-mommas who (like me) had NO CLUE as to what to even put on a registry in the first place. Happy momma = happy baby!