Now that I’m fairly well adapted to this whole parent thing, I often find myself reflecting on what baby and mommy things I use, don’t use, like, love and hate. I remember reading a few posts about registry smarts but it was easy to get carried away with the fun of decorating, furnishing and preparing for baby on someone elses dime. So I put together my own (hindsight is 20/20) lists for new mums and dads.
A fancy diaper pail – They need fancy liners which aren’t nearly as cheap as regular garbage bags. I wish I’d gone with a simple small trash can with a lid you open with a foot peddle. Easier, cheaper and can be used somewhere else in the future.
A changing table – What I’m talking about are those simple ones with basic shelves underneath. At the end of the day all it will ever be is for changing and nothing more. They even have a weight limit that might be reached before baby is out of diapers. Instead a nice dresser would be way more practical. Most changing pads have a strap you can nail to the back of the dresser for more security. The dresser can be used much longer and looks nice.
A travel bassinet – This was a simple bag that opens up into a small sleeping space not much bigger than baby. We put this on our registry because we had delusions of camping with our 2 month old. Needless to say we didn’t end up making the journey. We also thought we’d use it for a week long road trip with our three week old. That we did do! We ended up using the pack and play. It had everything we needed with the changer and bassinet features.
Clothing/Hats/Booties/etc. – This is where the fun comes in. People (ladies) looove shopping for all that stuff. Typically you’ll get plenty of that stuff so that you won’t NEED to step foot in the clothing department for awhile. My little guy is almost four months and it was just the other day I needed to get something, socks. Of course this means I haven’t gone shopping for anything cutesy and fun, but it sure has saved us some money.
Blankets – Oh my goodness did we get blankets. Not only did I register for a pack of receiving blankets, we got a ton of handmade ones. Those are neat but start to lose their uniqueness after the 5th one or so. I actually have this very nice mint green one and I can’t even remember who gave it to us. I’ll have to go find the list of gifts from the shower when I have time…haha “when I have time”.
High Chair – This is a classic registry item, I know. But it seems like there were several other things I wish I had early on. I still haven’t used mine yet but we’ve gone out to get a baby gym, crib, bedding, teether rings, bottle brush, etc. before we’ve even thought about the chair. Some of these goodies might have been purchased instead if the high chair wasn’t on the list.
Breast Pump – If there is only one don’t on this list that you follow, this is it. I didn’t find out until after my shower that you can actually get a very nice pump for free through your insurance! I ended up getting the medela pump in style advanced dual pump. My insurance covered the whole thing, go Obamacare! I had three to choose from and they were all nice and comparable to each other. As an EPer I use my pump alot and it hasn’t let me down yet!
Bathtub: I got a lawn chair style seat that you fit across your sink for bathing baby. We recently had to go out and get a basin style bathtub as our little guy has outgrown the chair and we’d prefer to move bathing to the upstairs bath anyway. I wish we’d gotten this basin style bath we picked out first. It can sit on the sink, it came with a sling for newborns, has a reclining position for when they just can’t sit up yet and then a straight back on the other side for later. You don’t need more than one bath item before they’re ready to sit in the regular tube. We got ours from target. Cheap and practical. Love it!
Baby Carrier – This is something you might have to try out to see if it works for you or what type is best. I registered for a Moby wrap because my good friend just loves hers and she looked so cool wearing her wee one. Well maybe I didn’t try hard enough but I had the darndest time getting my guy into the thing. Plus it was summer and too hot for such an ‘outfit’. Since I didn’t buy it I was more than happy to pass it along to another friend who wants to give it a try. We tried out two soft carriers before settling on the Ergo. It’s pricey but worth it for the durability and distribution of weight (our babe is hefty).
Nursing Tops and Nightgowns (if bf or ep) – Mama needs love too. When I got home from the hospital I realized I hadn’t given a thought to nursing gear. Then boom, I needed my milk makers but they were trapped! Fortunately friends and family stepped in to grab me some stylish essentials since I was in no position to shop. By the way, I ended up being an exclusive pumper or EPer but more about that another time!
Swing – This really didn’t start to work it’s magic until the second month but I think putting him in it from time to time helped him get used to the idea. The swing has allowed: us to eat dinner together occasionally, me to pump, and him a spot to nap when it seemed like he’d never sleep anywhere but our tired arms.
Room Decor – Again people like to get the fun, cutesy stuff. I had fun picking out adorable picture frames, signs, a nightlight, etc. They have yet to go up on the wall, BUT that just goes to show how likely I would be to even purchase such frivolity post baby. And it’ll be a nice little project someday.
Stroller – Our stroller was pretty integral to maintaining our sanity early on. Our baby just loved riding around in it and it was the go to thing when nothing else worked. We actually got a nice jogging system that came with the car seat.
And the Car Seat – You’ll need this the day you come home from the hospital in most cases. Having it ahead of time allowed us to practice and make sure we had it in right. That’s right, we pretended a stuffed animal was our baby and took turns fastening him in.
Well there you have it. Golden nuggets of registry wisdom from the oh so experienced first time mom of an ALMOST four month old. May it save you time, money and your sanity.