I spend some time on some Mommy-related message boards (my favorites are actually on the Knitter/Crocheter website Ravelry and get lots of good info there. One of the questions that comes up a lot from soon-to-be moms is, “Holy cow! There’s so much STUFF out there for babies! What do I actually NEED?”
When we registered for things with Seth (August 08), I had to keep reminding myself that babies just need a few essentials and the rest is frosting. Cover the Bs (belly, butt, body, and bed) with something basic and take it slowly with everything else. I ignored a lot of the manufacturers’ descriptions and instead looked at reviews from real parents on places like Amazon.com and the Babies R Us website. And I asked my friends what they actually used and what they never used. Take your time searching and finding what you like best. Anyone who gets impatient about your registry should get off your back – who’s the mommy here?! 🙂 Don’t mess with the mommy!
Here are my favorites/most usefuls for the four Bs. A lot of the list goes way beyond the basics, but I really appreciated all of them!
Breastmilk! I was blessed that breastfeeding worked well with Seth from the beginning. Nora was more of a challenge, but we got there.
The First Years Nursing Pads (already have lanolin on them)
Bravado Nursing Bras
Feeding support pillow – I used a Boppy and had several slipcovers ready to do quick changes
Medela Pump in Style Advance
Medela Harmony Handheld pump (for the just in case; also to use before we opened the PISA and made it unreturnable)
Easy Expressions Hands-free Pumping Bustier
ONE bottle of a few different brands, to test to see what my baby would actually take. I registered for ‘sets’ but should’ve left them unopened until Seth chose a bottle.
Lansinoh Milk Storage Bags
Bottle warmer (bonus – for thawing frozen breast milk)
Ice cube trays for freezing food (bonus)
Booster/High chair combo that fits in a regular chair
Pampers Swaddlers Newborn for the first few weeks
FuzziBunz cloth diapers
Allen’s Naturally Detergent
Cloth wipes (bonus)
Cloth wipe warmer (bonus)
Boudreaux’s Butt Paste (never use without a liner if you use cloth diapers!)
Waterproof pail liner bags (for cloth diapers) – get two so you always have one while the other is washing/drying!
Soft, lightweight onesies … a lot of them in a variety of sizes and colors – Gerber runs at least a size small, Carter’s and Circo (Target) were mostly true to size
Cotton zip-up footed jammies
Super-simple infant bath tub
Inflatable “Duck” tub by Munchkin (bonus – awesome when they start to outgrow the baby tub but aren’t ready for the great big bathtub)
Washcloths – thin and thicker
Floating bath thermometer (bonus)
Grooming/healthcare set – note: you’ll probably get a lot of the basic grooming items at the hospital when you have the baby, so don’t sweat this. We got a thermometer, brush, aspirator, and other things from the hospital. And every medicine we’ve bought has had a dosing syringe with it.
Car seat – I would’ve gone for the Convertible only if my husband hadn’t been set on the carrier
Stroller – try folding it and picking it up while you’re in the store. Drive it around corners to see how it turns. Try putting something in the basket when the seat is completely reclined.
Simple, firm mattress
Crib you can actually reach into
LARGE Square blankets suitable for swaddling – flannel and muslin
Pack and play with bassinet and changing table – this is seriously one of our most-used baby items.
Cotton sheets – several
Large waterproof pads – several. We would “layer” the bed when we made it: waterproof pad, sheet, waterproof pad, sheet. Saves time in the middle of the night if you have a leak!
Tiny Love mobile – it may not coordinate with your decor, but babies LOVE them
Floor play mat
You’ll get toys regardless of whether you register or not!
Cool mist humidifer
We never have used a changing table or dresser; we just kept a smaller waterproof pad and changed him in his crib or on the daybed in his room. We use a regular trash can for a diaper pail. After Seth was born, I went with him to a baby store that had several types of slings, wraps, carriers, etc. I found out he hated slings, was okay in a wrap, and did best in a Mei Tai! I’m so glad I didn’t buy everything before he arrived! Also, the Infantino Easy Rider is a way cheaper option than Baby Björn front carriers and worked well enough for us.