Thursday, October 25, 2012

What to put on a baby registry

This entry is sort of a step back for Allie and I since we've been through that a while ago, but inspired by the exciting news by one of my best friends who is expecting a baby, I wanted to share my version of "What to put on a baby registry" and dedicate this entry to her! This would be my ideal baby registry if I knew what I know now when I was still pregnant. I read lots of blogs and articles and talked to a lot of my friends and family for their suggestions. Hopefully this entry will come in handy for someone one day.

I think a baby registry is kind of like a sandwich.... It's made for the same purpose and most of the ingredients are similar (we've got bread, some type of meat, cheese, veggies or in a baby registry we've got supplies for sleep, entertainment, bath, feeding etc), but somehow all the registries you find are actually very different. One person says that a bottle warmer is a waste of money and the other says tat it's the most essential thing. Someone says that a diaper genie is the best invention ever and the other says that it's the most useless thing you can buy. I think when one puts together a list of necessary things it's a good idea to check out a bunch of opinions and then create your own based on your lifestyle and budget.

Almost two years later after having Allie and seeing what I used and what I haven't here is 

My ideal baby registry

My list combines the items "to get" and "not to get", so I apologize if it looks too crowded. I just want to share everything I've got to say on the topic.

  • Car seat for an infant or a travel system
  • Crib and a mattress 

I would not include much clothing. People give you cute outfits anyway (especially if your husband has the most generous aunt in the world :). Think about it, when you shop for a baby gift, what are you usually inclined to get: a super cute dress or a pair of nail clippers from the registry? But I'd still register for some clothes, including sets of different sizes. My list of clothes is on a "shy" side, assuming you have a washer and a dryer and can wash what you have.

  • (5) Bodysuits and one piece outfits and (5) onesies are the most comfortable for you to put on your baby and for the baby to wear, they are great for the daytime hanging out and for sleeping.
  • (2-3) Sleep sacks are wonderful, they are cozy and warm and I love the swaddling sleep sacks the most. As a matter of fact, one of the secrets to Allie's longer sleep was swaddling her.
  • (2-3) swaddling blankets.
  • (10-12) receiving blankets. They serve many purposes, including being burp clothes.
  • (3-4) crib sheets.
  • Mobile for the crib.
  • 4 waterproof mattress pads.
  • (2-3) light blankets, but those tend to be a popular gift anyway, even if you don't include it.
  • Those cute bedding sets you see in stores are kind of useless, because you cannot use half of what they pack in there for safety reasons (too bulky for the baby).

  • Diapers. Be sure to register for different sizes, so you don't get stuck with too many small ones. I actually suggest to not register for "newborn" size, but maybe just get yourself a small pack just in case (or many hospitals will send you home with diapers), because I know more than 1 person who had big babies and skipped that size all together.
  • Baby wipes. Don't order many, because you never know if your baby's skin will be too sensitive for a certain kind and then you'll need to experiment.
I would not register for a diaper rash cream. Different kinds work for different babies. Some moms swear by Boudreaux butt paste and others can only use Desitin, etc... It's a good idea to get different samples that you can order online for free and see what's the best for your baby, before paying for bigger containers.
  • Changing pad.
  • (3) changing pad covers.
I would not get a special changing table that has a short life span. We actually got one from Craigslist that was almost new and it looks more like a dresser. I actually still don't know if it's a dresser that doubles as a changing table, or a changing table that moonlights as a dresser... The point is when I no longer need the changing table I will have a perfect dresser.

  • Baby carrier (there are so many different kinds! We had a baby bjorn and loved it).
  • Baby stroller or a travel system (again, so many kinds! Deserves a separate blog entry... or a separate blog!)
  • Stroller bunting, especially if it's a cold time of year.
  • Pack and Play (we still use ours for a place to sleep for Allie when we travel). It has many purposes.
If you plan on breastfeeding:
  • A breast pump (double electric ones are the best)
  • Breast pads and ointment (you will need them, but I personally preferred to buy them myself rather than flashing those "sexy" items on the registry. Pump is enough...
  • A nursing pillow.
  • (2-3) nursing pillow covers.
  • Bottles and extra nipples with various speed
  • Nursing cover-up. Now, that was a genius invention!
  • Highchair or a booster seat (we have both and we need both. booster seat is great for when we travel)
  • Blender (this is in place of a Baby food maker that some people recommend. Blender is so much more versatile but serves the same purpose. You can make your baby food in there, then make some soup and then finish off by making a margarita! You can also continue using it once you've passed the baby food stage. 
  • (2-3) baby spoons.
  • A couple baby dishes, but this item is really very optional. We have 2-3 plates and 2-3 sippy cups that Allie is using. You can definitely get those later on.
  • (1-2) teething toys.
  • Pacifiers (Allie ONLY took soothies, no other pacifiers), so you may have to experiment
  • Diaper bag. I'd only include it if you found the one you are absolutely in love with. Otherwise, I'd just wait to get THE ONE, when you find it. This is the bag you are going to use the most, so you should really, really like it. Probably not too girly too, since Daddy will be carrying it from time to time.
  • White noise machine.
  • Nightlight.
  • A small bathtub that converts into a tub for an older baby.
  • (1-2) hooded bath towels.
  • (4-5) wash clothes.
  • Baby monitor (I would do video if I could do it over again. I could've saved Allie from waking up many times when I walked in to check on her, plus it's so fun to watch what they are doing when you are not there once they start moving a bit).
Instead of a baby first aid kit I would get the items that I really need separately:
  • baby nail clippers
  • digital thermometer
  • bulb syringe
  • baby tooth brush
  • baby hair brush
  • Laundry detergent for baby clothes (any kind that is dye free and unscented usually works)
  • Bassinet or a Moses basket (something small to sleep in till "graduating" to a crib

This next part is things that are just as necessary, but can be borrowed from friends, if possible or gotten used:
  • Bumbo seat
  • Rocker or a glider
  • Bouncing chair
  • Swing 
  • Baby gym (with lots of lights and music)
I hope this is helpful and if you are reading this, you must be expecting a baby. Congratulations! The best thing in the world is about to happen to you!

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