Starting a registry can be a bit daunting, especially if you visit one of those big baby stores like Buy Buy Baby or Babies ‘R Us. I personally love Buy Buy Baby because, while it can appear overwhelming at first, they’re set up in a such an organized fashion that a control-freak like me can jump right on board.
Before you ever go to the store, hop online and set up your registry yourself. You can browse the site and make a list of things you think you’ll like. It’s easy to edit it, so just go for it!
So, here it is…my registry favorites:
Gift cards. One thing I wasn’t prepared for was how much my views on parenting would change after my son arrived. You have to decide what you think your parenting philosophies might be, how you might tackle certain situations, but then be prepared and open to changing your mind. That will make some of the things you register for unnecessary, and it will also mean that you might need things you didn’t anticipate needing. So register for gift cards. You’ll use them for diapers and wipes if nothing else.
Clothing, etc.. Don’t waste your time buying a bunch of cute outfits in NB. For starters, bless your vagina, your baby may never even wear a NB size (did you know there’s a difference in NB and 0-3 months? Because there is.). And if he can wear it, he’ll probably only wear it for a few minutes for a cute photo op. Because in reality? All he needs is onesies those first few weeks.
- Sleepers – skip the snaps, go for the zippers
- Swaddling blankets – We loved Halo Sleep Sack Swaddlers! We didn’t find any use for L or XL, because we weren’t swaddling him by the time he could wear those sizes. We did love the kind that Velcro. They’re stupid-proof.
- Socks and hats
- Coming home outfit
- And don’t forget to register for little hangers, because you will dress him in real clothes eventually!
Diapers. Cloth or disposable? Cloth diapering can be intimidating, but modern cloth diapers are super easy to use. We use both cloth and disposable.
- If you’re going to go with disposable, register for a couple of different kinds. Only Pampers worked for us in the beginning, but now Huggies work better. If it weren’t for the fact that we buy our Huggies in bulk at Costco, we’d probably try Up&Up (Target brand) diapers, as I hear they’re really good. Either way, all babies are shaped differently, so different brands work better for different babies.
- If you decide to go with cloth, you’ll need to do your research and decide what kind will work best for your family. There are pocket diapers, pre-folds, hybrids, etc. Cloths come with a pretty big start-up cost, so if you want to use them, choose a type (or two) and register for them. We use gDiapers hybrids for daycare and on-the-go (they allow the option to choose between biodegradable disposable inserts or cloth inserts) and Thirsties all-in-one’s for around the house. They’re easy and, by far, my favorite.
- Diaper genie and refills for disposables and/or a trashcan with a foot petal and a wet-dry bag for cloth diapers
- Wipes – Huggies are thick, meaning your finger probably won’t go through—you’ll appreciate that. We also like Up&Up wipes but, again, we buy our Huggies in bulk at Costco.
- Diaper rash cream – Boudreaux Extra Strength is great with disposables, but you can’t use it (or any other moisture barrier) with cloth. I like Burt’s Bees Diaper Ointment.
Monitor. I resisted a video monitor for a long time because I can be a bit obsessive and I pictured long nights of me staring at the monitor. We finally broke down and purchased one when he was a little over a year old because, as it turns out, I obsessed more over every little noise he made.
Baby-proofing gear. We keep baby-proofing to a minimum in our house preferring, instead, to house-proof our kid. However, we do have a few safety gates, cabinet locks and socket covers meant to maximize parental laziness.
- Thermometer (rectal for the early days, ear for later). We love the Kinsa Smart Stick!
- Gripe water, particularly Mommy’s Bliss. I don’t know what kind of hoodoo they put in this stuff, but it calms him when he’s fussing for (apparently) no reason.
- Mylicon (or the store brand, since it’s much cheaper)
- NoseFrida – The concept is disgusting, but in actuality it has a filter and a very long tube, so nothing gets in your mouth. Plus? It works. We use ours with saline.
- Alcohol swabs and Vaseline
Laundry detergent. You can spend the money on Dreft, or you can just get a free & clear version of your own detergent so that you can wash all of your clothes together. I’d recommend the latter because, while I know you realize you’ll be washing baby’s clothes frequently, you may not realize how often you’ll have to wash your own when they become covered in spit-up and poop multiple times a day. Or maybe I’m just jaded about the amount of laundry since J had acid reflux and spent the first year of his life projectile vomiting. All I know is, my laundry sorting went from whites, darks, or colors to dirty or clean.
Also, if you decide to go with cloth diapers, you’ll need cloth-diaper safe detergent. I used Charlie’s Soap for a while and it works well on cloth diapers. However, it’s pretty expensive and I find that it leaves a bad odor in the diapers after many washes. I prefer Ecos instead. It’s much cheaper so you can use it on all of your clothing and not just your diapers.
Nursing supplies. Even if you plan to nurse full-time, you could still benefit from owning a breast pump. Check with your insurance company, because you can probably get a high-quality pump for free.
- Breast milk storage containers – Lansinoh bags are my favorite. I froze the milk in Fresh Baby Breast Milk Trays and then stored the cubes in the bags.
- Sterilizer bags and cleaning wipes for breast pump parts
- Nursing bras or tanks – one size larger than normal worked great for me
- Nursing pads – I heart Johnson & Johnson’s
- Nursing cover – Cover up or don’t, I don’t care. Breasts are meant to nourish your baby, so they’re nothing to be ashamed of. If I see you out in public with your boob hanging out while you’re feeding your baby, it’s not going to make me uncomfortable in the slightest. But if you’re like me, you might be a little too modest for that. In that case, invest in a nursing cover. These are not all created equal. I prefer the Bebe au Lait covers because they give better coverage.
- Lanolin – Medela brand is by far my favorite.
Feeding necessities. Even if you’re nursing, you’ll still need plenty of feeding supplies.
- Skip the burp cloths and buy cloth diapers instead, preferably Birdseye. They’re cheaper and much more efficient.
- Bibs – We loved the Tommee Tippee bibs because they have a collar that catches milk drool and spit-up. These are the best bibs for a newborn.
- Bottle sterilizer – Skip it. You have a microwave, don’t you? If not, surely you have a large pot and water you can boil. You don’t need to sterilize with every use. We only sterilized brand new items. After that, the dishwasher did the trick.
- Bottle warmer – Skip it. Just fill a large cup with hot water and set the bottle in it.
- High chair – Why waste the space? We went with a booster instead.
- Baby food maker – Don’t let the thought of making your own baby food scare you—it’s not as time-consuming as you might think. It saves a lot of money, and you know exactly what your baby is eating. Plus, it tastes a lot better! You can skip the baby food maker and use a blender or food processor, but I love my Cuisinart Baby. Love. It.
- Bottles – Avent Natural Glass Bottles worked the best for us with a breastfed baby. Not only did our son prefer them, but they also worked best for my method of storing breast milk. And why buy 4 ounce bottles when 8 ounce bottles also hold 4 ounces?!
- Level 1 & 2 nipples – As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, we never had a need for level 3’s.
- Dishwasher basket – for all those tiny parts you don’t want to lose
Bath necessities. An infant tub isn’t a necessity, but it sure is handy.
- Baby wash – I love the Aveeno Wash and Shampoo
- Nail clippers and files – I just chewed his fingernails off when he was tiny–I know that sounds gross.
Glider and ottoman. Splurge. You’ll use it.
Travel bedding. Pack ‘n Plays are great (get at least 2 sheets) and we definitely got a lot of use out of ours. However, the Rock ‘n Play was our BFF. When J wouldn’t sleep any other way but in my arms, he would sleep in this thing. I cannot say enough how sent straight from Jesus this thing is. Seriously.
Car seats. Infant seats are fantastic for the first few months and I couldn’t have done without mine. But if you have two cars, just get one pumpkin seat. Go ahead and get a convertible seat for the other. Most likely, you have a primary car that you’ll use the majority of the time. Put the convertible in the other car. You’ll need two convertibles eventually, so why waste your money on a second base for the pumpkin seat (they’re about $80)? A window shade is nice too.
Diaper bag. I love the organizing utility tote by Thirty-One
Stroller. If you buy an infant seat, you’ll probably end up with a travel system and that’s great while you’re using the seat. But once baby’s too big for the pumpkin seat, it’s nice to have a stroller that’s more compact.
- Shopping cart cover – I used mine a handful of times, and only during flu season. But mostly, I’m too lazy to use it and our kid has turned out just fine.
- Mobile – The ones that match the nursery décor are cute, but we traded ours pretty quickly for one with a remote. If you get one with your bedding set, you might consider hanging it over the changing table.
- Swing, bouncer, exersaucer, jumper, bouncer seat….get ‘em all if you have the room. Of course these are all personal decisions, but I loved having a lot of ways to keep him distracted and contained when I needed to get things done around the house. We probably could have gone with the exersaucer OR jumper, rather than both.
- Activity mat – Skip it. Use a quilt and some toys.