Compiling a baby registry can be incredibly overwhelming for a first time parent. I remember adding items blindly to my list, not really knowing if it would have any use in the first several months of mommy-hood. Now that I am an expert (ha!), I can share with you the top items that I utilized frequently in the first days of baby Lo.
1. Swaddle Me Pod Sacks- When you go home with your baby, you will probably try to swaddle like they did at the hospital. But if you just gave birth to a Houdini, like Lo, then this can lead to a lot of sleepless nights as your new baby tries to get comfortable outside the womb. Enter the stretchy Swaddle Me Pods, which I think is a good equivalent to the amniotic sac. That startle reflex that many babies have, that jolts them awake, is muted by these sacks, leading to blissful sleeping for both of you.
2. Baby K’tan- My baby k’tan, holding the baby close to the thump thump of your heart, was a lifesaver in those first few weeks. After the baby starts gaining some weight, it’s harder to navigate and it’s hard on your back. For those times I recommend a Lillebaby, which you can use to wear your baby 6 ways! Back to the k’tan- I even breastfed in the k’tan, and it was easy for me and baby! Definitely worth the add to the registry so that you can get some things done around the house with your hands free, too!
3. Baby Shusher- Now, you can really get any sort of white noise machine (even Youtube videos do the trick) but the Baby Shusher is super cool and it’s the best one out there. I was first turned onto the Shusher at Lo’s newborn photo shoot when she just wouldn’t sleep. It’s kind of loud and deafening, but the baby LOVES it because it mimics the jostling that she felt inside your belly!
4. Nose Frida- Look, I know this is gross. It just is. But when you’re dealing with a sick baby that can’t blow her nose, you’re going to thank yourself for putting the ickiness aside and buying the Nose Frida. Don’t buy the Neti Pot one, stick with name brand on this one. Plus, with proper cleaning and replacement filters, the gross factor goes way down.
5. Avent Bottles – Even if you plan to breastfeed, there’s a good chance you’re going to need bottles. These are my favorite- easy to put together. We started out with Dr. Browns but there are SO MANY PIECES and it just wasn’t worth it for us to have to deal with, with a hungry baby. Easy to clean, too!
6. Portable Changing Pad- There will be times when you will need to change your baby on a dirty bathroom floor of a restaurant. Let’s just face those facts. Not every bathroom is equipped with a changing table, know that now. Here’s what I like to do- first, put down a disposable paper changing pad, and then lay your nice plastic (easily cleaned) one on top of it. Double protection from the icky germs. Then, gingerly lay your flailing child down and hope they don’t roll off into the abysss of the gross floor. When you’re done, throw away the paper pad and sanitize your portable pad later.
7. Rock ‘n’ Play – This was one of my very favorite buys when we had a newborn- it’s portable, it vibrates, and you can manually or automatically rock it back and forth. It also snugs your child just close enough to combat that pesky startle reflex- and if your child has acid reflux, an added bonus is that it elevates the head- allowing your baby to nap comfortably.
8. Diaper backpack – Mama, I know you want that super cute Petunia Picklebutt $200 diaper bag. Here’s what you need instead. You need a diaper backpack. Because you want something that you can put on your back without it swinging forth and hitting yourself with it. Your husband can put it on and not feel (totally) emasculated). Also, these are great diaper bags because they come with pockets for bottles, a wipe case, and a portable changing pad! Win win win!
What you can SKIP on your registry:
1. SKIP the Blankets: you’re going to get baby blankets out the wazoo. Might as well not register for them, because everyone and their mom is going to get you a baby blanket.
2. SKIP the Clothes: By the time you curate your perfect registry and the baby shower guests visit it, the clothes could be gone, on clearance, out of season, or nowhere to be found. PLUS, people are going to get you clothes anyway- don’t waste your time adding them to your registry.
3. SKIP the Baby food maker: When you’re a new mom, making your own baby food sounds fun, but you can do that with a regular blender or food processor. Also, look into baby-led weaning. By the time my baby was 6 months old, I had her on regular table food and we skipped the pureed phase completely!
4. SKIP the MamaRoo: The MamaRoo looks really cool, but babies either love it or hate it. And if your baby happens to hate it, and you just spent $400 on it, you won’t be happy. An alternative: buy one second hand! Those mamas that spent the $400- they are selling them now, for a fraction of the cost. We bought ours for $100 and when Baby Lo preferred a $40 swing instead, I turned around and sold it for $80. Another mama was happy to take it off our hands! Scour your local Swap & Shop Facebook Pages & Craigslist for the best deals!