One of my close friends is embarking on the journey of putting her baby registry together. She asked me for suggestions, as a new momma. I told her I’d be glad to help because it is quite daunting to put a registry together because you don’t exactly know what your baby will need, right?
I remember researching baby products online for hours. It is just so confusing because there are so many options for each item. I read blog posts about it, and some of those lists were so long, that even reading the whole list stressed me out!
First I emailed my pregnant friend a link to my blogpost “Top 5 Must-Haves for Baby’s First 5 Months.” She said it was cute and helpful. Then I said I would follow up with more after that. So, here is the “more after that”:
1) Our hospital used Dr. Brown bottles during our last few days in the NICU, so we continued to use the same brand at home. The blue insert is supposed to help reduce extra air from going into your baby's tummy. It's a little annoying at times to wash each little piece, but it's important that you do to keep them clean. We started with the 2oz bottle size, and fed him every 3 hours.
2) Philips Avent BPA Free Pacifiers- Once again, we stuck with what the NICU was using. I like the Soothie style of pacifier. It's so cute to see their little mouths through the clear rubber! My hubby didn't like it before we had the baby, but he did once he saw how cute Baby S looked.
3) BooginHead Pacigrip Pacifier Clip- Oh, this reminds me! It is not called a pacifier anymore- it is called a "paci"- just a little FYI. A paci clip is A MUST!! I prefer these ribbon clips over the the pacis attached to the weighted, stuffed animals because I was able to clip one onto his carseat and another onto his stroller straps. This way, I was never without a paci. Plus, it was never falling on the floor anymore.
4) Boon Grass Countertop Bottle Drying Rack- Works well air-drying your pacifiers, bottles and all of their components.
5) Baby Bibs Cloud Island are great because the actual bib is not too large. Baby S can still crawl around without the bib interfering with his hands. These also have a plastic liner in between two pieces of fabric. This is SO important while your baby is teething (which goes on for months!). It keeps them dry, even though the bib sill get soaked for baby drool. Baby S wears a bib about 80% of the time, so the smaller design is much more functional for us.
6) A pack of cloth diapers- These are so absorbent so they make great spit up cloths. My baby had acid reflux so he was spitting up all the time. These were a must to keep on us until a few months ago. I highly recommend them.
7) You will also need nail scissors or clippers for your baby's cute little finger and toenails. Don't be fooled by how cute they are because they are RAZOR sharp. This is really my husband's area of expertise, and he prefers using little clippers. Some even have a little magnifier attached to it. However, we both agree it's easiest to do this while your baby is sleeping.
9) I was a bit shocked when I received Bordreaux's Butt Paste as a baby shower gift. That didn't sound cute and baby friendly at all! I didn't use it for quite some time just because I didn't like the name (Silly....I know). We used Desitin like we did at the NICU. I think I prefer the thicker consistency of the Butt Paste, but we alternate between the two brands.
10) Munchkin STEP Diaper Pail- I chose this trashcan because it has Arm and Hammer odor control, and it seals off the trash bag after each use (with a twist mechanism). It's white and simple in design, so it doesn't scream TRASHCAN or SMELLY DIAPERS. I use the individual refills, and you'll be surprised how long a box will last you- in a good way!
11) I recommend a diaper changing pad that is stationary, and has a safety straps with a buckle. My changing table has a little guard rail around the pad so it can't slip off the surface. It may not seem like a big deal when your baby is a tiny infant, but soon as your little one can roll over, it's a whole new adventure! I have the Munchkin Contour Foam Changing Pad which is waterproof and the Delta Children Infant Changing Table.
12) A Crib- Don't get too wrapped up in choosing the safest crib. My conclusion was that all cribs are made to the safety standards (However, I hate making blanket statements. Be smart, follow your gut.) I chose the Fisher-Price Providence Traditional Crib because it has clean lines, but a little traditional detail.
13) I also chose a breathable mesh bumper for my crib so there is never a chance of my baby suffocating. You can find different styles. I found mine at Target.
14) You will also need a firm mattress and a water resistant mattress pad. Again, I'll save you the worry of fretting over the best mattress. Just choose one, and call it a day!
15 ) If your baby turns out to be a little Hudini like mine, these zip up sleep sacks might be a great solution for you. I had a velcro sleep sack, and I could rarely wrap Baby S snug enough to keep his adorable little arms inside. (I'm being modest, I cried a few times out of frustration at 3am....) This is similar to wrapping them in a swaddle to keep them cozy like they were in the womb.
16) Now don't laugh, but you are going to need this one day: The Baby Shusher Soother. I've had a love-hate relationship with it, but I'm loving it again. I still use it each time I set Baby S down to sleep. It doesn't work instantly for him like in YouTube videos, but it definitely works to doze him to sleep eventually. Most importantly, it keeps me from getting lightheaded making a "sshhhhh" sound over and over and over...
17) Chicco Bravo Trio Travel System- I've been very happy with this stroller/carrier/carseat system. It's like a one-stop shop. For the first 9 months this made life very easy. The carrier clicks into a carseat base in the car, and it clicks into the stroller base in the stroller. It's so easy to keep your baby asleep while you transition activities. You can also purchase an extra carseat base for your other car, if needed. The stroller design is great because there is a second canopy near the handles so you can double up your canopy over your baby when needed. There is also a mesh panel so you can see your baby sitting in the stroller when he is older. The storage bin below fits my diaper bag perfectly, even when I stuff it to the brim (which is often!).
18) Car Back Seat Mirror- This changed my world! Baby S used to have spontaneous choking episodes so I was a nervous wreck when I had to drive alone with him. A few weeks later we found this back seat mirror, and all my worries disappeared. I can see him easily when I look in my rear view mirror. Just don't get distracted while you're driving, please.
19) I wasn't sure I needed this in addition to the Rock n' Play and a crib, but I do! I have my Graco Pack 'n Play in our bedroom. We used the changer attachment for nighttime diaper changes. When Baby S outgrew the Rock n' Play, he began to sleep on the raised level mattress pad. I wasn't ready to put him in his nursery, but at least he could sleep in his own "crib" and be close to me.
20) As new parents we're all a bit paranoid, right? That's okay! It's good to be concerned about the well being of your baby. I let my husband select our baby monitor. The Motorola MBP38S- 2 Digital Video Baby Monitor with Two Cameras has worked out very well for us. I have one camera set up in his room, and one in our room over the play pen. There is only one monitor screen, and it is does not connect to your cell phone. To conserve the monitor battery, you can choose to have the video show for 5 minutes and then go to sleep, like your computer monitor, but the sound always stays on.
I hope I was successful in keeping this list mommy-to-be friendly. Hopefully no one is stress eating, or feeling more overwhelmed than before. These are my experiences and preferences that worked well for me and my first baby. Just remember, there is not a magical BEST item for your baby. If you are concerned, stick with reliable companies that you've heard of. Do what feels right for you, and that's the best choice you can make for your new little baby.
Have fun registering for your baby~
*** UPDATE ***
It was still Top Secret News at the time I published this post, but now I can proudly share who my close friend is. My younger sister-in-law is due this December 2017 with her first baby boy. She came to me and my older sister-in-law for help. This was the best way I knew how to do so! I can't wait to be an auntie again :)