There are so many uncertainties that come with having your first baby. You know you need a lot of stuff but you don't even know what stuff you need. So you go to Target and register for everything in the baby section. After you have your baby shower and your baby's nursery is full of stuff you finally feel like you can take a big sigh of relief. "We are finally READY for this baby!" Then, you realize a few months after your baby is born that you didn't need or even use half of the stuff you have. To help you new mommies out I made a list of the top 10 things to register for. These are the items that I found the most useful while I had little ones.
1. Rock N' Play and Pack and Play
So I am already kind of cheating on my list and doubling up on items. This is my blog so I do what I want :) Anyways, both of my babies spent their first few months in a pack and play next to my bed. I was never a co sleeper because I was a strong believer in the "Safe Sleep for Baby" campaign. But I did want my little babies in the room with me. They slept in the pack and play every night right next to my bed until about 4 months - 6 months of age. My doctor recommended to move them to their own room at 6 months because that is when they start to be aware of their surroundings and it becomes more difficult to change their sleep environment after this age.
Next is the Rock n' Play. I did not have a Rock n' Play for my first baby. A friend loaned it to me for my second baby and she spent a lot of time in it. This bed is easy to move around the house with you so you can have them in the room with you when they nap. It is also slightly elevated which is good if your baby is congested.
The Boppy has multiple uses. One helpful use is hands free breast feeding. I would nurse with a Boppy while eating! Finding the time to eat when you have a newborn can be a challenge so this was a big help to me. With my second baby I also used the Bobby to help my 3 year old hold her new baby sister. She felt like a big girl holding her sister all by herself. Also, It can also be used for floor time play. So this item was found to be useful. I love the Boppy so much that I have two of them in the studio.
3. Bath Tub and Bath time items
Babies are slippery and you will need something to bath them in. You will find good use of a tub that fits in your kitchen sink to help save your back from bending over the bathroom tub. I had a plastic tub with a sling attachment for newborn babies. I liked this type of tub because it grows with your baby. Other items you will need are: towels, baby soap and baby lotion.
4. Stroller / Carseat Combo
A car seat is a big expense that you can't get away from. If a loved one wants to help you with this major purchase than even better. The Stroller / Car seats that come together are a good option because you can just pop the car seat right into the stroller with out a problem. I would try to find one that has an easy to open and close stroller. My first stroller was impossible to close. I was almost scared to use it when I was alone because I did not have the hand strength to close it back up. But my second stroller was a two kid stroller and was easier to use. I went with a gender neutral car seat so I could use it again with my second baby assuming it would be a boy. Then I had two girls so I could have gone all pink :)
5. Heath Care Kit
There are some basic heath care items that will come in handy when your baby becomes ill. The first time that your baby becomes ill you will be stressed out enough. You will not want to add running to a store with the sick baby if you don't have to. I recommend to have things like Infant Tylenol, nose suction, saline solution, and a thermometer. These basics will get you through teething and first colds.
6. Rocking Chair
I probably spent more time in the rocking chair in my kid's nursery than any other piece of furniture during their first year. I guess when I say rocking chair I actually had a glider. This is where I fed and rocked them before naps or bed time. This is where I spent my late nights with cranky babies. This is where I read to them many board books. I remember my youngest saying "can we rock a minute" many times before bed. I still have this glider. I am a little too emotionally attached to the memories in this chair. One day I will find it in me to give it away. You will be spending a lot of time here so find a good comfy rocking chair or glider.
7. Receiving Blankets / Burp Cloths
Evelyn, my first, was very attached to the receiving blanket. This is because we used them all the time. Thick blankets and bedding are not safe in the bed with babies. Receiving blankets are thin and safer in the bed. Also, she was a major spit up baby so we went through receiving blankets and burp rags like crazy. It would not hurt to have a good collection of these.
Pacifiers are a kinda touchy topic. Some people are anti pacifiers. I was one of those people before I had my first baby. I did not want my baby to have "nipple confusion". I didn't even bring any pacifiers to the hospital when I had my baby. Then when Evelyn cried and cried and cried my husband asked if we could try a pacifier. I asked the hospital if I could have one and they said they were not allowed to give them out. What is really strange is that with my second baby the rules must have changed because the nursery gave my baby a pacifier with out even asking. Long story short, I ending up giving both of my girls pacifiers and they both loved them. My second one even got excited at bed time when she was an older infant because she new that meant she could have her paci. I would recommend having a couple of different types of pacifiers because sometimes babies are picky. I tried to match the paci brand with the bottle brand I introduced. Do what ever you feel is right but it does not hurt to have a couple on hand in case you baby ends up being a crier like mine.
Everyone knows you will need diapers and wipe. It is a good idea to register for all sizes. Your newborn will not be in a newborn size for long. Advice I was given was to register for small bags of diapers in all different brands instead of picking a brand and registering for big boxes. Sometimes your baby can be allergic to a certain brand of diapers. You will not know what your favorite brand is until you actually try a couple out on your baby. Registering for diapers and getting a collection of diapers can save you on a big expense during the first couple of months if you are lucky.
10. Baby Monitor
A baby monitor can help bring you piece of mind. The video ones are really cool and I liked having one with my second baby. I had it with me anytime my baby was napping or sleeping.
So I really have 11 items on my list. The last item to add to your registry is a photography gift card to use toward a professional newborn photography session. Hiring a professional photographer can be a big investment. Sadly, this stage of life is also very expensive with nursery furniture and hospital bills. You may have loved ones who would be happy to help you with a gift card to use toward beautiful baby pictures.
5 ITEMS TO LEAVE OFF OF YOUR REGISTERY
Christmas will come along and then your baby's first birthday. Before you know it, your house will be taken over with toys. When they are tiny you will not need much to keep them stimulated. Embrace the time before your house is totally taken over by toys!
2. Crib Bumpers
The "Safe Sleep" campaign recommends that you do not leave anything in the bed with the baby when they sleep. Having thick bedding, stuffed animals or bumpers in the crib with a small infant can become a suffocation hazard. Many stores have even taken these items off their shelves.
3. Baby Wipe Warmer
This is one of those things that sound genius that you will probably not use. It adds one more step to the already one thousand things that you have to do on a daily basis. Also, I had a friend that had one and she said that they just dry out the wipes. So I voted to leave it off the list :)
4. Swings and Bouncers
These items can be awesome! You might have a baby that loves the swing and it might be a life saver. My babies would put up with being in the swing but hated the bouncer. My point on this item is that it is a great item to borrow from a friend. Swings and bouncers are only used for maybe up to 6 months old. And then you will have a large item that you have to store. I was able to borrow awesome swings from friends for both of my babies. And once my baby was too big to use it, I just returned it.
5. Diaper Genie
Again, just my personal preference, but this item is also an extra step that is not needed. We had one and used it for both babies. But they fill up so fast. We were constantly emptying the bag. With both, we just eventually took the diapers to the main large house trash can and emptied it when needed. The goal for me is to not make unnecessary extra work for myself.
Now you are ready to go out there and create your Baby Registry!
Is there something you think I left off? List the thing that you think is a "Must Have" or a "Must NOT Have" in the comments to help out new mommies!