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Baby Registry: If I did it again


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I was pregnant with my first baby once.
And by "once" I mean not that long ago.
When it came time to register I was completely overwhelmed.
If you're expecting your first you probably have a lot of the same questions I did:

What do I really need?
What will I actually use?
How many pacifiers/bottles/blankets/etc will be enough?
Which swing/bouncer/stroller/etc is the best?
Cradle or co-sleeper?
Infant or convertible car seat?
Etc, etc, etc!

Now that my sweet baby boy is 7 months old I feel like I [sort of] have a handle on the whole baby product thing and what you need vs what you don't really need.
Note: Every baby [and every mama!] is different. The things that worked for me may not work for you. The things I never use may turn out to be lifesavers for you. But hopefully this will give you a little bit of confidence when it's your turn to register!

Warning: I was very detailed.  This is a very long post.  If you don't have the time or just don't feel like reading all my mumbo-jumbo you can scroll through and look at pictures only OR scroll to the bottom where I list the must-haves and do-not-register-for's without any explanations.

YES, YOU'LL WANT IT.
REGISTER FOR IT:

BABY SWING
To me, this was a no-brainer.  Everyone I talked to said it was a life-saver.  Since Jack is my first baby he was held a lot. And still he used the swing...a lot.  I can only imagine how useful it will be for #2 and beyond. I did hours upon hours of research and finally settled on this baby [swing].



What I like about it:
  • 6 speeds. We used 1-3 up until Jack was about 4 weeks old. After 4 weeks we used 3+.
  • Rotates to 4 different positions. Basically the base of the swing can stay in place and you can easily adjust the seat to face 4 different directions. Babies like to look at people. This makes it easy for them to face you wherever you are without having to drag the whole base around.
  • Requires minimal space.  The seat moves within the space of the base which is pretty small compared to other legs/bases of baby swings.
  • Neutral colors.  Of course this is important if you are planning to have more than one child. You don't want to have to re-buy your big ticket items because they're all PINK and you're expecting a boy for your second. More important for me, though, was the neutrality for my living space. Maybe I'm a little snobby but I just can't have bright colored baby items BLARING in my living space. I prefer them to blend in as much as possible. So the neutral colors of this swing was a big win for me.
  • 2 recline positions. Note that the description of the swing on any website states that there are 3 recline positions but I swear there are only two. I've checked and re-checked and that seat does not lock into three positions. But I like the two positions. One is plenty far laid down enough for a newborn (I know some people complain their swings sit too high and their newborn's head falls forward. I did not at all have that problem). The second position sits up enough for the baby to be able to look around at everything going on but is still reclined enough for them to sleep comfortably.
  • Plugs in. We've never had to replace the batteries. We leave it plugged in all the time. I love that.
  • Whisper quiet. You can't hear it at all. We've been known to take Jack out and leave it swinging on accident. It's so quiet you don't even know!...until you realize it's swinging and there is no baby in it. Oops.
BOUNCER
I was completely distraught over deciding if I needed both a swing and a bouncer.  Ultimately, I registered for both and I'm so happy I did.  The swing is too big and bulky to move around the house. It sits in our main living area where we spend most of our time. The bouncer, however, is completely portable. I moved it everywhere. In the bathroom while I showered. Upstairs while I blogged. In the kitchen while I cooked. Babies like to be nearby and, with your first, I guarantee you won't want to leave them out of your sight.  After lots of research we settled on this bouncer.


What I like about it:
  • It vibrates instead of bouncing. Originally I thought bouncing would be better but all the reviews for the "bouncy" ones said the bouncer barely worked especially once your baby got too heavy. My baby was heavy to start with so I'm glad I have a vibrator. Jack loves it.
  • The music and nature sounds. They're not annoying. They're soothing and Jack always used to fall asleep to them.
  • Neutrality. Again, with the neutrality.
The only thing I don't like is that it turns off automatically after 30 minutes. But that didn't turn out to be a big deal for me.

ACTIVITY GYM
I actually did not register for this.  I registered for as few toys as possible which I don't regret at all but when Jack was about 8 weeks old I realized I really needed one of these. It's impossible to entertain your baby every waking minute and they like to be entertained. I recommend registering for one of these so you don't have to turn to the TV every time you need your baby to self-entertain.  We bought this gym and I'm 100% satisfied. Originally I wanted one that had lights and a mobile and music. Then I remembered my own cardinal rule: Buy the "boring" toys. They end up being the most fun. Okay, I just now made up the saying. But the POINT is that I want to avoid the toys sing or move or talk, etc. Kids get bored of those. Example: You buy a Tickle Me Elmo.  The only thing a Tickle Me Elmo can be is a Tickle Me Elmo. Tickling Elmo gets old after awhile. Believe me, I nannied a kid with one. Buy Lincoln Logs on the other hand and they can be anything a child's imagination can...uh, imagine. A cabin. A bridge. Missiles.  You want a toy that children can entertain themselves with...not a toy that entertains your child.  Encourage use of the imagination and your child's ability to self-entertain.

Okay, back to the activity gym. I decided on one without music, without lights, without a mobile. Jack loves it. He entertains himself (it doesn't entertain him) for hours.  He talks to the animals, he talks to himself in the mirror, he pulls on the toys, etc. This has been my #1 toy for months.  At seven months he is just starting to outgrow it...only because he rolls off of it and moves on to something different.  I'm excited that my next baby will have it from day 1. I plan to have it set up the day we bring baby #2 home from the hospital.  PS It comes with a tummy time pillow...maybe it would encourage little ones to like tummy time? Jack was so far past being trained to like tummy time by the time we bought it haha. PS2 This activity gym is about half the price of others out there. PS3 It's super bright and obnoxious-looking but we don't leave it set up. When it's not in use, this is easy to fold up and store in a closet, a corner of baby's bedroom, etc.

Sometimes he plays under it for so long he completely exhausts himself and falls asleep.


JOHNNY JUMP UP or EXERSAUCER


We have both but only because both were given to us.  Jack LOVES both but, in my eyes, they serve the same purpose.  If I had to recommend one over the other I would probably say go with the exersaucer*.  A Johnny Jump Up requires a doorway to hang from...and the right kind of doorway...molding on both sides.  The exersaucer, on the other hand, can sit anywhere.  Like I said, both of mine were hand-me-downs so they're not on the market anymore.  Target sells this Johnny Jump Up.  This exersaucer is most similar to mine. Note: Your baby will use this from about the time they can semi-sit up until...I don't know when.  I would guess around 18 months? It's a great toy and one that is worth the space in your house.

*Just FYI if you were to ask my little brother or sister I bet they'd recommend a Johnny Jump Up because our exersaucer is LOUD when Jack bounces and it drives them nuts. Although maybe newer versions are quieter...


CAR MIRROR
We bought this car mirror but I actually wouldn't recommend it.

We have had a lot of problems with it not staying in place and it's so tiny that it's hard to see the baby.  Even though I don't love the particular one we bought I love the idea of it!...and ours does still serve its intended purpose. When I'm the only one in the car with Jack (and therefore driving) and he starts crying I obviously can't turn around to see what's going on.  And even if I could it's awfully hard to see them when they're rear-facing.  Having this ridiculously convenient little mirror lets me know if Jack is just fussy, the sun is in his eyes, or he's lost his binky.  Plus, once he figures it out, he'll be able to see us too!  I would recommend registering for this mirror or this mirror or a similarly large one.


BOWLS/SPOONS/SIPPY CUPS
I sort of hesitated registering for these things because it seemed so far off that Jack would need them.  Seriously though, time FLIES.  I pulled out the bowls and spoons at four months and the sippy cups at 6 months.  I say give your baby shower guests as many options as possible.  These are great options for someone looking to spend a little less money (or someone who spends a whole bunch on a lot of little things).  Just for reference I registered for these bowls (for the record, I registered for one set and ended up buying a second set a few weekends ago...I recommend registering for 10 or more bowls depending on how often you run your dishwasher...I go through about 5 bowls a day).
 

I registered for one pack of these spoons (love them but again I ended up not having enough) and later bought a second pack of similar spoons...the silicone tips of the second pack are just a little bit bigger.  I can't find them online but I love having both sizes.

I have these sippy cups and these sippy cups. Couldn't tell you if they're good or not...Jack refuses to take any sort of bottle or sippy cup.
PACIFIERS

I'm sure you've heard it all: "They're life savers," "Don't use them for the first few months because your baby can have nipple confusion," "My baby refused all pacifiers except *insert brand here*."  Okay, here's my opinion.  Love it or hate it.  Buy pacifiers.  Use them.  Every nurse I talked to in L&amp;D recommended pacifiers.  Yes, the lactation consultant advised against using them until Jack learned to properly latch while nursing.  BUT every mother I've talked to that uses a pacifier said their baby had no problem differentiating between a pacifier and the breast.  In my opinion, nipple confusion is made up.  We used a pacifier from day one and never had any problems with breast-feeding.  Even if you don't think you want to use pacifiers I'm going to recommend that you buy them/register for them and pack them in your hospital bag.  Just in case you change your mind.  Because if you do change your mind you probably don't want to use the hospital grade pacifiers...they're kind of ugly and then your baby is hooked.

Here's why I love pacifiers:
  • Some day you can take it away unlike fingers.  If your baby comes out sucking his fingers like mine did you're in for it unless you substitute with a pacifier.  I didn't want Jack to be a thumb/finger sucker until age 5 because I couldn't break him of the habit.  My sister will agree with this. Ask her...she sucked her finger through first grade until she was made fun of...plus she had the worst teeth of all of us.  Coincidence? Maybe.  But I bet she'll be using a pacifier for her baby.
  • They really are pacifying, hence the name!  Whenever Jack is unhappy, give him a pacifier.  99% of the time he calms right down.  It's magic.
oh my goodness, so little!
  • If your baby is a preemie you want them to cry as little as possible.  Crying burns calories.  A pacifier [usually] calms a crying baby.  Less calories burned.  Go home sooner, yay! PS I have no experience in this.  Jack was far from being a "little" baby. But I was told this from a Registered Nurse. I believe her, you should too :]
As far as choosing the right brand of pacifier...I say choose which ones you like.  I chose Avent because one of my [super cute] best friends recommended them.  They don't have a "right" side or a "wrong" side.  Some pacifiers have to be in the baby's mouth a certain way.  Avent pacifier nipples are the same on both sides.  You don't have to worry about constantly flipping it.  Love.  Also, they're cuter than a lot of pacifiers, in my opinion.  The clear ones are especially discreet if you don't like the look of pacifiers (like me).  I really think that you can convince your baby to like the brand you choose.  I bought only one brand and maybe I was lucky but Jack loves them.  At first he wasn't sure.  But we gave it to him anyway from day 1.  All. the. time. Now it's the best way to soothe him...besides mom, of course.  Don't be fooled into buying 5 different brands and trying them all out and then having to throw out the others.  I think that's nonsense.  Just my opinion...love it or hate it.

PS I'm not saying all babies will take a pacifier.  Some probably won't for the life of them.  Like my baby would rather starve than have a bottle (of breastmilk!).  I'm just saying if they are going to take a pacifier I don't think your baby is born with a brand preference.

STROLLER CLIPS



I hope I haven't lost you yet in this ridiculously long post because you will not want to be without these.  Seriously one of the best baby purchases EVER.  I have these ones and I love them.  They actually came with my diaper bag.  Every JJ Cole diaper bag purchase includes stroller clips (if you buy it directly from JJ Cole, that is. I don't know about if you buy it from a third party).  But if you are more of a Petunia Pickle Bottom (or other brand) type of girl you can buy the clips separately.  I sadly lost my original ones on our Texas trip.  I bought a second set immediately.  I'm not kidding when I say I cannot be without these!  You don't have to crowd your stroller storage bin with your diaper bag and it's so accessible!  My diaper bag also serves as my purse (as I'm sure it does/will for many of you mama's!) so not having to bend over and dig through the diaper bag under the stroller for my wallet is so convenient.


DIAPER BAG

I love my JJ Cole.  Mostly I like how it looks.  That's what I base a lot of my choices on...haha.  But it's also really roomy, it comes with a changing pad, it has lots of different pockets which ideally help in organization (in my case it just means more pockets to search for my keys/phone/lipgloss/everything I can never find because I toss stuff in haphazardly).  I love that there are eight, yes EIGHT, outside pockets.  So many places to put things that you need to be easily accessible.  For me that's my cell phone, keys, lip gloss, pens, gum, and pacifiers.  Ideally they all have their own pockets.  Realistically they end up wherever they don't belong.  But I still don't have to unzip my diaper bag to access them.

JOGGING STROLLER



If you're a runner, YES YES YES! Buy a jogging stroller!  I wouldn't consider myself a "runner" per se.  I mean, I run.  A lot, lately.  But I didn't run regularly until I had Jack and I'm no marathoner.  But seriously, a jogging stroller is a must-have if you plan on running with your baby.  That said, you do not have to spend hundreds of dollars for a good jogging stroller.  I use this Baby Trend jogger.  It's on sale for under $100 right now!  It's seriously a steal for a jogging stroller and it's awesome.  I have never used a Baby Jogger, Mountain Buggy, or BOB jogger to compare to mine but I really don't think they can have anything so spectacular to be worth two, three &amp; FOUR times the price of my Baby Trend.  My jogger is so easy to push, it has a large storage compartment on the bottom, two parent cup holders, a baby tray with a cup holder, a snap-shut parent storage tray, lockable front swivel wheel, and a completely adjustable back on the baby seat.  It seriously has everything I could ask for in a jogger.  While I don't use the parent cup holders to hold cups (or even a water bottle) I use them to stash my gloves and headband when I start to get hot in the middle of my run.  The snap-shut storage tray stores my phone safely on our run.  Oh and PS you can clip your car seat into the jogger when your baby is tiny.  The manual says you shouldn't ever jog with the car seat attached but I didn't read that part until after I had done it for several months.  Not once did the car seat come close to falling off.  It also says it's compatible only with Baby Trend car seats but my Graco fits just fine.


PS Jogging strollers are also great as all-terrain strollers for camping, etc.
PS2 Do not make the same mistake I did and assume you can use your jogging stroller as your everyday stroller as well.  If you plan on taking your stroller in the car anywhere you can just forget it.  The jogger is MUCH bulkier than a regular stroller and stuffing it into the trunk of a compact car is a pain in the rear.  Maybe that's why BOB's cost four times as much...do they fold up smaller? I'd love to know, haha.

STROLLER
[Source]
I opted for a car seat frame like this one (looks like they don't sell my exact one anymore - this is the newer version).  I really loved it for the first few months of Jack's life before he wanted to sit up all the time.  I love how lightweight it is, how easy it is to collapse, how huge the storage compartment is, how little space it takes up in your trunk/garage/closet, how maneuverable it is, and the compactness (is that a word?) of it.  However, I eventually ended up buying this Graco stroller (which is fine...I don't absolutely love it or anything but it does the job) once Jack didn't want to be laying down in his car seat all the time which was at about 4-5 months.  My new stroller also accommodates his car seat so now I feel like the frame was a waste of money.  I did love it, though.  I recommend finding a travel system (not that you have to buy the car seat WITH the stroller...just a stroller that can accommodate your car seat of choice) that you love.  I thought they were all super bulky which is why I strayed from them in the first place.  Turns out there are lightweight ones like the one I have now.  Do some research and find one that you love as both a car seat accommodating stroller AND a toddler stroller...until you need a double stroller like I'll need next time :]
Source
CAR SEAT
Of course you're going to buy a car seat.  The question is which car seat?  There are SO many to choose from and they are all safety-certified so how do you decide?  Mine came down to looks.  Seriously, I'm shallow.  I chose this Graco Snugride 35 in Bermuda because I liked how it looked.  Luckily, I love so many other things about it.  It comes with removable newborn padding (more for preemies) and a removable head support.  The canopy rotates 180 degrees.  Who needs a car seat canopy blanket?  I didn't and I'm so happy about that.  I know lots of people like those but personally...not my style.  I love that when the sun is in Jack's eyes I can just pull the canopy all the way down to his feet.  It's so easy to put into and remove from the base.  The Graco Snugride 35 base is SO easy to connect to the car.  It also supports babies up to 35 points whereas most car seats accommodate babies only to 30 pounds.  We can use the extra 5 pounds!
Some mom's swear by buying a convertible car seat and using it through toddler-age.  I decided against that for two reasons:
1. I plan to have multiple children...close in age.  So I'm pretty sure I will need an infant car seat and a toddler car seat at the same time.  I won't be saving myself any money by purchasing a convertible.
2. Although I try to avoid toting Jack around in his car seat everywhere sometimes it's just more convenient to pull out the car seat and bring it with you.  Like when you're going to the grocery store [before they can sit up in the cart].  You can't hold your baby and grocery shop and if your baby is like Jack, they may scream in a baby carrier that you wear.  Or when you go to the doctor and you can't really hold your baby while the doctor does his thing.  The car seat comes in handy.  Just sayin'.


DIAPER RASH CREAM
People will buy it for you if it's on your registry.  And it's something you'll want from day 1, just in case.  Personally, I love Butt Paste but I've used others that work fine too like Desitin and Aquaphor.  Jack never has really had anything more than a barely pink bum so we don't go through a lot but I have one small tube in my diaper bag and a 16 oz tub on my changing table with a convenient flip-top lid that I can open and close one-handed.  Because at this stage, you have to hold on to one of Jack's ankles at ALL times lest he decides to push himself right off the changing table.


SHAMPOO/BODY WASH/LOTION
Register for it.  People will buy it for you.  We got 2 full sized bottles each of shampoo/body wash and lotion, one extra-large bottle of shampoo/body wash and two travel sized.  You can never have too much shampoo or baby lotion.  Personally I love Johnson &amp; Johnson's baby shampoo and lotion which I use when I give Jack a bath in the daytime or Johnson &amp; Johnson's lavender shampoo and lotion which I use when giving Jack a bath at night.  I also have Target brand lavender shampoo and lotion which I'm sure works just the same.  But the Johnson &amp; Johnson's bottle just looks prettier.  Don't judge [me]...do judge the bottle ha.

HOODED TOWELS
Register for both newborn sized towels like this


and a bigger towel for when your baby is older like this one.


Realistically you need 1-2 newborn sized towels and just one bigger towel.  I registered for a 2-pack newborn towel set and I liked having two because as a newborn you never know when they might need two baths in one day...you don't want your first bath towel to still be wet!  But now that Jack is older and pretty much never has blowouts or spit up explosions that require an extra bath during the day I just need one towel.  After his bath I hang it up to dry and it's ready for the next bath in a couple days! I just wash it once a week with my other towels :]

PS This is one of those things that I registered for that was gender specific.  Jack's newborn towels are white and blue with dinosaurs.  They're so cheap I don't mind buying new ones if I have a girl.

BOOKS



Yes, register for books!  It's never too early to start reading to your little one and it's nice to have a small collection to start you off.  We like Sandra Boynton board books.  Our favorites include Moo Baa La La LaOh My Oh My Oh Dinosaurs!Barnyard DancePajama Time, and Blue Hat Green Hat.  You really can't go wrong with Sandra Boynton though.


PS I once heard a baby shower idea where you have printed on the invitation "Please bring your favorite childhood book along with your gift to start Baby's book collection."  Or some similar phrase.  You might want to hint hint to your hostess to include it on your invitation if you think your guests wouldn't mind bringing a little something extra!

CRADLE

Cradle or co-sleeper?  I worried over this for weeks.  I couldn't decide if I wanted a co-sleeper like this so Baby could sleep in bed with us, a co-sleeper like this so Baby could sleep sort of in bed with us, but still in his own bed OR this Rock N Play Sleeper.  Ultimately, we settled on the Rock N Play Sleeper and here's why:
  • Although Jack wouldn't be in the bed with us he could be right next to it.
  • When Jack was making too much noise for me to get sleep I could easily drag the cradle out of the room into the hallway.
  • I loved that when he woke up at night and just needed a little help going back to sleep I could rock the cradle while still laying in bed.  Sometimes I swear I was still mostly asleep while my hand or foot rocked the cradle.
  • The cradle is at an incline which made me not worry about Jack spitting up and choking on it.  Seriously, I worried about all that little stuff.  You probably will too for your first.
Jack slept in the cradle until about 4 months.  At 4 months he was the size of an average 6-7 month old so your baby could probably stay in it much longer if they needed to.



RECEIVING BLANKETS
When your baby is a newborn you can't have too many receiving blankets.  Okay, that's kind of a lie.  We got about 20 hand-me-down receiving blankets from a good friend and then got 8-10 more from the baby showers.  I ended up donating several to the local thrift store.  Having 8-10 on hand is good.  You go through them like crazy when your baby is constantly having blowouts or spitting up all over them.  Jack was born in the middle of summer (when he didn't need to be wrapped in a blanket all the time) and we still went through them like candy.  You're guaranteed to receive some at your baby shower even if you don't register for them but I suggest registering so you get the ones you like.

BUMBO


Although Jack didn't fit into his Bumbo for long (his legs got too fat to fit in the holes, haha!) it was quite convenient for the month he used it!  When your baby can't quite sit up on his own but is ready for rice cereal (around 4 months) it's so nice to have the Bumbo for them!  You could always feed them in the car seat but if they spill it's not as easy to wipe from a car seat as it is from the Bumbo.

NURSING COVER
Yes, yes, yes!  I love my nursing cover!  Mine actually came from Etsy (Lilacs and Lollipops) but you can find them anywhere!  They are so nice to have when you are nursing in public and don't want to be exposed.  Some moms feel comfortable having everything out there but me...not so much.  Once upon a time the little clip to my nursing cover broke and I used a blanket to cover up instead for a few weeks until I got around to fixing the nursing cover. It is so much harder to stay covered up with a blanket! Just trust me.

BURP CLOTHS

I actually handmade Jack's burp cloths and thought I was set with 8-10 but I was wrong, wrong, wrong.  You honestly cannot have too many burp cloths.  If you get 100 of them, keep them all.  I was doing laundry way more often than necessary only because I ran out of burp cloths all the time.  I recommend registering for a few of the 6 packs like this or several of the smaller packs.  Or make your own...they are ridiculously easy.  PS This is another one of those things where I chose to go with something gender specific.  I'm happy to make more when a girl comes along!

STROLLER TOY LINKS
This is one of the very few toys I registered for and I absolutely could not be happier with them.  They are one of Jack's favorite toys.  So simple, I love it!  Plus they are handy for so many things!  We use them to hang things from the car seat, stroller, door knob and pretty much everything.  They are such a small toy to fit in the diaper bag so I always have them with me.  Jack just loves to hold them in his hands, chew on them, etc.  They entertain him for a long time.  Plus it's an inexpensive registry item and you should definitely add lots of those!  Not everyone has $30+ dollars to spend.



SWADDLE



Some babies don't like to be swaddled but I say register for one (or a few) of these just in case!  You can always try it out and if your baby doesn't like it, return it!  Babies R Us and Target are both great about returns especially if the item is on your registry.  I was given one of these as a hand-me-down and didn't think I would use it but packed it in my hospital bag just in case.  Turns out Jack slept SO much better all swaddled up.  I ended up having my little sister stop by Target and pick up a second one for me on her way to visit us at the hospital (Jack spit up on the first one). It's way easier to swaddle a baby in this than in a regular blanket.  Especially if your baby is a ninja like my little nephew who could escape any regular blanket swaddle.  My mom thinks these are genius and always talks about how much she wishes they had them when she had babies.  Jack slept swaddled until about 4 months.  PS Know that these come in different sizes.  Be sure to register for the newborn size.  And maybe a couple in the next size up :]

BOTTLES

If you're breastfeeding, I say just register for one pack of bottles.  Like 3 maximum.  I never even needed more than one, to be honest.  But I also was home with my baby and he pretty much never took a bottle.  Like maybe four times in his life and he fought it every time.  If you're formula feeding then you probably want to register for a lot but I can't help you with how many because I just don't know!  We are a fan of these Avent bottles.  As a formula feeding mom you probably will want to register for both the 4 oz and the 9 oz.

BREAST PUMP
Even if you think you will never, ever leave your baby, register for a breast pump (if you're breast feeding, that is).  Even if you don't want to save your milk it will come in handy when you are engorged during the first few weeks and a) the baby is having a hard time latching or b) he's not ready to eat yet but you're very uncomfortable!  I didn't pump often but when I did I always saved the milk just in case we needed it later.  Should I clarify that I meant needed it for Jack? Hopefully that was obvious but I just don't want anyone thinking I meant for our food storage or something.  I registered for this Evenflo single electric breast pump (I think) and I love it!  You can rent a breast pump from most hospitals but if you aren't using them on a regular basis I say register for one especially if it's the one I got which was only $35.  If you're planning to return to work I say go with renting a hospital-grade pump OR registering for an electric double breast pump.  They're pricey but well worth it.  Do not attempt a manual hand pump.  I've heard nothing but bad news about them.  They're a pain in the butt - or, uh, breast (or so I've heard).  Pay the extra $15 (or have your shower guest pay the extra $15) for the electric. PS You can store breast milk in the freezer for up to 6 months! It's true, the breast milk storage bags say so!


BREAST MILK STORAGE BAGS
Register for them.  You may not get them at your shower because people think it's kind of a boring gift (it's true) but at Taget &amp; Babies R Us you get 10% off everything remaining on your registry*.  Why not get them for 10% less?  This is the easiest way to store your breast milk.  Whenever you pump, save it!  There is no reason to throw out perfectly good milk.

*Psst. If you think of something you want AFTER your baby shower add it to your registry before you use your 10% completion coupon!  Add everything baby you're going to buy.  You can even ask for one of the scanners and add things to your registry as you go through the store stocking up on your last-minute baby items like clothes, etc.

STROLLER HOOK

I sort of thought I was being a little bit ridiculous when I registered for this and then felt even more ridiculous when I bought it after I didn't receive it at either of my baby showers.  I wasn't sure I'd ever actually use it.  Turns out...I use it ALL the time.  I just think it's so much easier to hang your bags on there when you're shopping than stuffing them in the storage basket.  Especially if you're doing returns.  You don't have to dig around in the bottom of your stroller to find your merchandise.  It's definitely not a necessity but, honestly, I love mine!

MATTRESS/MATTRESS PROTECTOR
I don't even know what mattress I have but register for one.  Again, you might not get this at your shower...who wants to buy a mattress?...but you'll get it for 10% off when you use your completion coupon. Do your research but I'm pretty sure any crib mattress on the market has to pass safety standards.  I don't think you really have to spend $300 on a baby mattress to ensure its safety.  We bought one from Amazon for around $40.  Ours doesn't even need a mattress protector because the outer material is plastic-y.  But if yours is fabric on the outside, get a protector too!

TUMMY GAS DROPS

Or all medicine for that matter.  Medicine is expensive!  Maybe someone will want to put together a medical kit for you for your baby shower.  Register for Little Tummy's Gas Drops (lifesavers for gassy little tummies!), Baby TylenolBaby Ibuprofen, and Gripe Water (cures the hiccups even though most babies hate the stuff and supposedly helps with colic...I wouldn't know about that.  I got lucky and Jack didn't have colic).  Baby Ibuprofen can't be used until your baby is 6 months of age but Tylenol is safe from day 1.  Just ask your pediatrician for a dosing chart.

THERMOMETER
We registered for this Exergen Temporal Scanner and love it.  It's really easy to use (even when Baby is sleeping) and two pediatricians have told me it's the most reliable.


BABY HANGERS
Register for these! Believe me when I say baby clothes do not fit well on regular sized hangers.  Plus these are just so tiny and cute, how can you resist!?  Can't wait until Jack has a closet of his own and we actually have space to hang these cute little things (with his cute little clothes).

MAYBE SO, MAYBE NOT.
REGISTER WITH DISCRETION:
You may or may not need the following items.  They're definitely not necessities but I know some moms would not be without some of these items.

BABY BATH
We had one because it was handed down to us but, honestly, we could have easily done without.  Until your baby's umbilical cord falls off you'll just be giving sponge baths, anyway.  After that you can fill the tub with just a small amount of water and lay them down.  The baby bath is a little more convenient because it fits in the sink and you don't have to bend over to bathe them.  But, really, your baby starts splashing around 2 months and that really makes a mess so we switched to the bathtub around that time.  Jack LOVES the bathtub and I realized we never really needed the baby bath.  Maybe just start without one then if you decide you really need it, buy it.  Or borrow one.  You'll only use it for a couple months.


DIAPER GENIE
I think these are a royal waste of money but I know some moms swear by them.  In my opinion, the diapers stink even when they're in the genie.  I say don't be so lazy and just run them out to the trash can.  Plus you always have to buy refill bags for them which is a cost you don't need when you're flying through diapers like nobody's business.  And they take up valuable space in the nursery.  And they're not cute.  See?  There are lots of reasons to not get one.


FAUCET COVER
Okay, so unnecessary but I have to admit I registered for (and got) one.  We haven't used it yet because Jack takes a bath in my parent's huge spa tub where the faucet is too high for him to hit his head.  But I remember hitting my own head a few times on that stinkin' sharp faucet edge and it's no fun!  I think this is a clever invention but, again, completely unnecessary.


SCOOP &amp; STORE
I say it again...unnecssary.  But such an easy way to store those bath toys!


PACK N PLAY
We did not register for a Pack N Play and, so far, I don't regret it even a little bit.  Here's a hint: don't register for things just because it seems like you should.  Think about if you really need it.  For us a Pack N Play just didn't seem necessary.  Jack has a full-sized crib for home and when I tried to think of when we would ever need a transportable crib I came up with zilch.  When we're visiting local family/friends we let Jack sleep in someone's arms or on the floor (but he doesn't crawl yet so he can't get away) or he just skips his nap *gasp*.  Yes, sometimes Jack skips naps or goes to bed late.  I just feel like toting a Pack N Play with you everywhere to ensure your baby gets every single scheduled nap or a timely bedtime is so inconvenient.  If they're tired enough, eventually they'll fall asleep...even without a crib.  But just know you might sometimes have to deal with the cranky.  I don't mind that but some moms do.  As far as traveling overnight, did you know hotels have cribs you can borrow? At least every hotel I've been to does.  It's a first-come, first-served type of thing but just ask for one when you book your room and again when you check in.  If we're staying with family we figure Jack can just sleep in our bed with us.  I love not having to bring a pack n play with us all over the place or having it take up space when we travel.  We're of the mindset to just make do.  That said, there are some moms who couldn't live without their Pack N Play's.  My suggestion is to start without one and see if you actually need it.  If/when it comes to a point where you feel like your life will be much less complicated if you just had a Pack N Play then buy one.  But I say hold off until you're sure.  There's nothing like something you never use taking up valuable storage space.

DON'T FALL FOR IT
aka don't register for it.
These are things that I think are completely ridiculous or just not worth registering for.  Companies really take advantage of worrisome moms-to-be.  You want to make sure you have everything for your sweet bundle of joy so you buy up Babies R Us when, in reality, half the things are hoaxes.  Beware, pregnant mamas.

BABY SLEEP POSITIONER

These are meant to keep your baby sleeping on their back (you know, to prevent SIDS).  Let me tell you, though, it's such a waste of money.  First of all, they say it's "back to sleep" for SIDS prevention until your baby can roll over on their own.  At that point, they can sleep however they want.  That said, there's no point in a sleep positioner and, in fact, they can actually be dangerous and can pose a suffocation hazard.  I noticed Babies R Us and Target don't even sell them anymore.  I think that says something.  Skip it.


TUMMY TIME MAT
We were given a hand-me-down tummy time mat and...we never used it.  Don't be fooled into thinking if your baby hates tummy time they will suddenly love it if they have a colorful mat to lay on.  Wrong, wrong, wrong.  Lots of babies hate tummy time and the only cure is being consistent...or baby growing up.  If you really want a tummy time mat buy one of the baby gyms like mine that comes with a tummy time pillow.  Then you're not wasting your money if it turns out the tummy time mat doesn't help (plus you only have to store one toy instead of two. Bonus!).

NURSING PILLOW



Every mom I've ever talked to swears by their nursing pillow.  My BFF swears by her Brestfriend, my sister swears by her Boppy.  After a lot of research I ended up going with JJ Cole's Paisley Pillow.  I tried to use it several times and each time I ended up tossing it to the ground and just holding Jack instead.  At 7 months (and 20 pounds!) I still just hold him in my arms while I nurse with no pillow assistance.  Sometimes I'll use a throw pillow or sometimes the arm of the couch but mostly I just pull my knee up and rest my elbow there.  It's a lot easier than dragging a Boppy with me everywhere and, honestly, more comfortable.  Here's my opinion: borrow a nursing pillow from a friend.  Or borrow a few different kinds from different friends.  Try them out a couple times with your new baby and see if you like using a nursing pillow and, if so, which one you like best.  And then go buy it.  Mine was a royal waste of money.  It sits in the closet collecting dust.


CLOTHES

Honestly, there is no point in registering for clothes.  If your shower guest is looking to buy clothes she might glance at your registry but as soon as she walks into the baby store she'll be naturally drawn to whatever she thinks is the cutest little outfit.  Then she'll buy that one and forget about your registry.  People will buy you clothes whether it's on your registry or not...baby clothes are everyone's favorite thing to buy.  After your shower take yourself shopping for baby's wardrobe.  It's more fun that way, anyway.
PS There is no shame in returning or exchanging clothes you get at your shower that you don't like.  Nobody will ever know if your baby doesn't wear what they bought him.
PS2 Don't remove all the tags from your baby's clothes as soon as you get home from the baby shower.  Your baby might come out big like mine and not fit into half the clothes at the right season.  Example: Jack had a lot of 3-6 month winter clothes (he was 3-6 months October-January) but he was out of 6 month clothes by October.  In California, October is still hot.  I ended up exchanging most of those smaller winter clothes for the next size up.

BOTTLE BRUSH

If you have a dishwasher do not register for one of these.  Mine is still in its packaging in a drawer.  Collecting dust.  The few times I actually used a bottle I just rinsed it out and stuck it in the dishwasher.  If you do not have a dishwasher on the other hand (I'm sorry), you might want one especially if you're formula feeding.

CAR SEAT BLANKET



I bought the Bundleme from JJ Cole thinking I would use it on my morning runs with Jack.  I thought it would be a lot more convenient since I wouldn't have to worry about him kicking the blanket off and either a) getting cold or b) dropping it on the ground so I'd have to stop to pick it up.  Once upon a time I remembered I had the Bundleme sitting up in the closet so I thought I'd put it on his carseat and try it out.  Turns out it doesn't come with directions and I can't even figure out how to get it on.  Besides that, I really don't need it.  If I tuck the blanket in tight enough Jack doesn't kick it off.  My worries were completely unfounded and I wish I'd never wasted the money.

As for these car seat blankets, they seem like a great idea but a) they're unnecessary and b) not recommended by car seat manufacturers.  I don't follow all the "rules" of the manufacturers (ie we have toys hanging on Jack's car seat and you really aren't supposed to) but they do say adding things like this reduce the car seat's safety.  To be honest I really don't think it compromises your car seat's safety but you really can just tuck a blanket around the babe.

Hint: If you DO want one of these, I recommend this girl's tutorial...click on the source link :]

TOYS
Do. Not. Register. For. Toys! (Besides the plastic links I already talked about!)  If you absolutely must then register for one rattle (any type of rattle will do),the teething toys you can freeze and maybe some soft building blocks.  Babies' favorite toys are household objects, anyway.  They're really rather have your necklace over the rattle and the remote over the teething toys.  It's good to have something (hint: the plastic rings!) when you're out and about but a toy overload just isn't my thing.  That said we have about 50 million toys (one small box of toys in the bedroom and one big box of toys in the garage) but only because they're ALL hand-me-downs.  I'm testing out which ones Jack really likes and will be donating the rest. Mostly I recommend waiting until your child is ready to play with toys before you start buying them.  Buy them one at a time and be picky!  Jack's current favorite toys: books (no shame in buying LOTS of those!), teething rings, plastic rings, soft building blocks, and rattles.  He has very short-term interest in his toys that sing, move, talk, or dance.

WIPES WARMER
Waste. Of. Money. The end.

BABY CARRIER
Yes, they are convenient. Yes, you will probably want one.  But do not register for one!  Borrow, borrow, borrow!  Try out different ones and see which one your baby likes before you make the purchase.  I recommend trying an ErgobabyBaby BjornInfantino Carrier, and a Moby Wrap.  And anything else you can get your hands on.  I made a Moby Wrap imposter (it seriously is exactly the same thing...but not) and Jack wasn't the biggest fan.  We also have an Infantino carrier and one other similar carrier...we haven't tried them in a couple months but he didn't like them the last time we tried.  We mostly ended up just holding him...and we didn't mind at all!

WINDOW SHADES
Psst...guess what?  The sun coming in from the side windows really doesn't get in your baby's eyes when they are rear facing.  It's mostly just the sun coming from the back window and there's not really much you can do about that, anyway.  Besides registering for my carseat with the 180 degree shade, of course.  Wait until the sun becomes a problem before you buy window shades.  And when you do, avoid these kinds because you can't roll your window down with them on.  Instead, look for one of these that sticks to the window.

BIBS
You really need just one and not until your baby starts eating solids at 4 months (or later depending on your preference/what your pediatrician recommends).  Someone might buy you one even if it's not on your registry anyway.  I say wait and see.


As for drool bibs...skip them.  I have millions (hand me downs + gifts) and I've never used one.  It totally ruins the baby's outfit, in my opinion.  Plus Jack doesn't really drool a lot so I haven't really needed them.

BABY POWDER

I have multiple bottles of baby powder and I never use the stuff!  At least I never use it on Jack.  I do use it as a hair de-greaser on occasion if I didn't wash my hair...did you know you could do that?  Unless you're absolutely sure you need baby powder I say skip it.  PS If you are planning to use it just because it smells nice, baby lotion serves the same purpose.  Plus it's easier to put on the baby without accidentally poofing some in their little face. Yes, I've done that. Poor Jack Jack.

SHAMPOO RINSER

When you see stuff like this I say keep on walkin'.  You can use a regular cup you already have on hand.

SAFETY STRAPS
Wait until your baby starts moving until you buy these [or any type of safety clips/straps/etc].  At that point, determine what you really need to baby-proof and purchase accordingly.


WET BAG
Maybe I'm not being environmentally friendly, but I say skip these and use plastic baggies.  Do you really want to put pee (or poop) soaked clothes into your "wet bag" and then have to clean it out later?  You can throw out the plastic baggies...


SHOPPING CART COVERS
Okay, so I went into Walmart the other day and sat baby Jack in the cart.  For a half second I got the weebie-jeebies thinking who might have been touching this cart all day/ever since Walmart opened...funny how I never think twice before putting him in a Target cart.  Okay anyway it was the one time I maybe thought having a shopping cart cover like this might be nice. Then I reconsidered and remembered how silly I think they are.  First of all, do you put a towel under your kid's bum every time you put them in the swing or send them down the slide? Probably not.  And I promise there are germs there too.  Second of all, having to tote your shopping cart cover around with you everywhere sounds like a pain in the patooty if you ask me.  Maybe you just keep it in your trunk and it's no big deal but then you have to remember to bring it into every store.  It just sounds like one extra thing to worry about.  And finally...it's OKAY to have your child exposed to germs!  It's actually good for them to be exposed to germs sometimes.  It's how their immune system learns to build up defenses!  Seriously.  Skip the shopping cart cover.
PS If you're really paranoid [or even if you're not], it's not a bad idea to wipe down the cart with a baby or clorox wipe. Some stores [including Walmart] even have "shopping cart wipes" available right where you pick up your cart!

BATH SEAT

We were given two of these as hand-me-downs and have never, not once, used them.  After the baby bath, (which we probably could have also done without) Jack graduated straight to the tub...with no seat.  He LOVES to splash and move around...I can imagine the baby bath seat would restrict that.  Before he could sit up on his own he loved laying on his back (we filled the tub just to about his ears when he was laying down) and splash his hands and legs.  Now that he can sit up unsupported he splashes with his hands and scoots around everywhere!  I say skip it while you're registering, save some of those gift cards you get at your baby shower, then decide when the time comes if you really need (or even want) it.  There's nothing like stuff you don't want taking up precious storage space.

In case you skipped the ridiculous amount of things I had to say here's the lowdown.

REGISTER FOR IT
  • BABY SWING
  • BOUNCER
  • ACTIVITY GYM
  • JOHNNY JUMP UP or EXERSAUCER
  • CAR MIRROR
  • BOWLS/SPOONS/SIPPY CUPS
  • PACIFIERS
  • STROLLER CLIPS
  • DIAPER BAG
  • JOGGING STROLLER
  • STROLLER
  • CAR SEAT
  • DIAPER RASH CREAM
  • SHAMPOO/BODY WASH
  • HOODED TOWELS
  • BOOKS
  • CRADLE
  • RECEIVING BLANKETS
  • BUMBO
  • NURSING COVER
  • BURP CLOTHS
  • STROLLER TOY LINKS
  • SWADDLE
  • BOTTLES
  • BREAST PUMP
  • BREAST MILK STORAGE BAGS
  • STROLLER HOOK
  • MATTRESS/MATTRESS PROTECTOR
  • TUMMY GAS DROPS
  • THERMOMETER
  • BABY HANGERS
MAYBE/MAYBE NOT
  • BABY BATH
  • DIAPER GENIE
  • FAUCET COVER
  • SCOOP &amp; STORE
  • PACK N PLAY
SKIP IT [at least initially!]
  • BABY SLEEP POSITIONER
  • TUMMY TIME MAT
  • NURSING PILLOW
  • CLOTHES
  • BOTTLE BRUSH
  • CAR SEAT BLANKET
  • TOYS
  • WIPES WARMER
  • BABY CARRIER
  • WINDOW SHADES
  • BIBS
  • BABY POWDER
  • SHAMPOO RINSER
  • SAFETY STRAPS
  • WET BAG
  • SHOPPING CART COVERS
  • BATH SEAT
The more I typed the more I realized this list is definitely not all-inclusive nor could I ever make it so.  Okay, I could but you would be seriously bored by the end.  Comment or email me if you want opinions on something else...to register or not to register? I promise I'll reply!

Remember Mama's...bring a list with you when you register! Babies R Us can be quite overwhelming!

*In case you're wondering, we registered at Target and Babies R Us.  We ended up buying most of our big-ticket items that we didn't get at our showers at Babies R Us because you can get 20% coupons all over the place.  We saved 20% on our car seat, stroller, swing, and bouncer! - Sign up for mailers, ask around and remember to keep your receipts because there is almost always a 20 off coupon at the bottom!


2 comments

  1. haha! i love most of these, but some i TOTALLY disagree with. like, you know how much i LOVE my boppy pillow. and for me, my baby bjorn is a LIFESAVER, but that's only because i have 3 now. i wouldn't have used it at all with emma. i bought it right before i had max, and it was perfect because i had a place to put him, and still had hands for my toddler. also, i LOVE my pack-n-play, but we use it as a bassinet. and we use it when we go places overnight, and baby is too old to sleep with us. but that's just me. i know everyone is different! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, I definitely agree you want a carrier! I just think you should try out different ones first before you commit to one. I think our carrier will come in really handy one day! And I know most mom's want nursing pillows...just same, I think they should try different ones first. Maybe I should try your boppy one day. I've seriously used my JJ Cole pillow like three times and only for like 10 seconds each time hahahha!

      Delete

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